Having recently relocated from Maine to Filson’s headquarters in Seattle, Alex Carleton, Filson’s creative director, is settling into his new life in the Pacific Northwest. As an outdoor adventurer with an appreciation of local history, Alex shares his favorite spots and his must-have gear.
What are your five favorite things to do in the Pacific Northwest?
Camping at Twin Lakes on Mt. Baker National Forest, hiking through coastal wilderness and viewing wildlife (sea otters, eagles, blue herons), exploring coastal forts in Port Townsend and visiting their wooden boat school, day trips to Yakima to visit farmland and seeing the agricultural landscape, and day hikes around Mt. Rainier.
How were you able to capture the essence and feeling of the Pacific Northwest and apply it to the HQ store design?
I had to be observant to learn about the essence of the Pacific Northwest. This wasn’t an insular project; it was about meeting new people with deep connections to this region. By doing this, I was able to learn about the local culture and history that shaped this region, like the industrial history of Seattle, the influence of the forestry industry, diving into the arts and crafts of the region, and the strong connection to the outdoors. All the characteristics of this region played a strong influence on the store and put Filson within the context of its home. The more I learn about this place will continue feed the Filson narrative.
Is there one place in the Pacific Northwest that you always return for inspiration?
The outdoors. Connecting with the outdoors activates my imagination. I get my best ideas while hiking with my dog for hours.
What is your must-have Filson gear when going on a trip?
Filson FRD duffle that I carry every day; it’s hauled my gym clothes, dog food, groceries, work computer, driftwood, bear spray, and toiletries. Recently, my weekend go-tos are a pair of Nike sneakers, Aether board shorts, Filson outfitter T-shirt, lightweight Filson Alaskan Guide flannel, and a mesh Filson logger cap.