A Tale of Two Cities

CF Stinson’s Michigan headquarters and Maine design studio possess geographic commonalities used to tell the company’s story through its Northern Parallel collection.

01/27/2017 By Jenna Lippin

A Tale of Two Cities

With three generations of company history, CF Stinson has a story to tell that goes beyond its renowned high-performance textiles. The Northern Parallel collection illustrates an important element of the company: its geography. With its headquarters in Rochester Hills, Mich., and a studio in Kennebunk, Maine, it became apparent that the shared traits between the two locations—though 700-plus miles apart—could be translated into unique fabric offerings.

“I didn’t know much about Michigan; I live in Maine,” noted CF Stinson’s Director of Design, Lori Roop. “I know it’s really cold there too, but it went beyond that. The people are incredibly hardworking, and the same goes for Maine. You think of Maine and you’ll think of LL Bean, Poland Spring Water, Tom’s of Maine—all great products their companies stand behind. It’s the same in Michigan—Carhartt, the automobile industry, contract furniture in Grand Rapids—they all have this integrity and we wanted to play up on that. Fabric is a cool way to do it.”

Taking inspiration from the natural surroundings in both cities, in addition to the hardworking American people who live there, the design process started with the broad concept of trying to draw connections between the two places, Roop said, who works on Stinson designs with colleague Lauren Kidwell. “With Northern Parallel it started with trying to explain the Stinson story a little bit and celebrate its uniqueness and the freedom they give us as designers. Then we pulled in nature since we think it’s a huge connector [between the two locations]. The people who live in both places really embrace the cold weather and go out and experience things. We tried to pull those influences in, and then we wanted to add some special textural elements to the line, so we went out and searched for them and worked to develop all of them for this particular group.”

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