The Minnesota shop and the mega-store are teaming up for a cold-weather collaboration.
Askov Finlayson isn't just one of our favorite menswear stores in America—it's also a full-on cultural hub in Minneapolis. Owners and brothers Eric and Andrew Dayton, whose entrepreneurial family goes back five generations in Minnesota, also own a nearby restaurant, bar, and cafe, and they help organize a hip cultural festival in the city every year called The Great Northern. Now, just in time for Minneapolis to host the Super Bowl, Askov Finlayson has teamed up with Target on a collection of gear promoting their love of Minnesota—which Askov Finlayson lovingly and savvily dubbed "The North" in 2013, with the launch of their in-house clothing line—and its real-deal winters. In addition to being locally minded, the collaboration is also personal: Eric and Andrew's great-great-grandfather, George Draper Dayton, founded Dayton's, the department store which eventually became the Target Corporation.
"For Askov Finlayson as well as for Target, this was a chance for us to express our pride in our hometown," Eric tells us. "The fact that the collection is also coming out in the middle of the winter, timed with the Super Bowl, really allows us to share the spirit of The North, which is all about embracing the cold and the outdoors instead of shying away from it." The collection includes 50-plus items spanning pretty much every outdoor-friendly aisle of Target. There are snow tubes, quilted blankets, and durable bags, as well as winter accessories and knits for men, women, and kids. Several of the items are U.S.A.-made, and some come directly from Minnesota. The mugs and ceramic candle holders are made by Red Wing, for example, while the hats are made in the same local factory Askov Finlayson uses for its main line. Best of all: everything in the collection is $40 and under.
"Those of us who grow up here, we learn how to dress for the weather," Eric says. "We like to say that there's no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing. I believe that. If it's cold out, you dress for it, and then you go out and enjoy yourself. It's nothing to be afraid of." More than just enticing Minnesotans to get outside with stylish clothing, the two companies are also providing a joint grant to a Minnesota nonprofit called Wilderness Inquiry, which takes underserved kids on outdoor adventures. "I grew up seeing the impact Target had on the community through not just a great retail experience but also through philanthropy. That's inspired what we do with Askov Finlayson as well. We want to make an impact on our city while also reaching a broader audience."
Check out some of the menswear and lifestyle items in the Askov Finlayson for Target collection, which launches at 38 Minnesota Target stores and at Target.com on January 14th, below. We're putting our money on the on-trend tassel scarves, as well as the quilted blankets, which have handles so you can take them anywhere. "Any Minnesotan will tell you the importance of having a good blanket in the trunk of the car," Eric confirms. "You just never know when you might need it."
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