“Abode of snow” is the English translation of the word Himalaya. Conjuring the windswept mountain range that is home to some of the world’s highest peaks, it’s also the name art director Tenzin Wild gave to the new gender-neutral outerwear line inspired by traditional Tibetan robes that he co-designed with his wife, model and actress Tao Okamoto.
Wild was born in Switzerland to a Tibetan mother and a Swiss father, and with Abode of Snow the Last Magazine cofounder hopes to pay tribute to his ancestors. “Obviously, outerwear is an everyday lifestyle in the Himalayas,” he says. “We want to use it tell stories about Tibet, its people, and rich culture.”
Abode of Snow’s key silhouette is inspired by the chuba, an ankle-length Tibetan robe that is bound around the waist by a long sash, which Wild remembers wearing for cultural ceremonies as a child. The Chuba Parka comes with a removable drawstring hood and is cut shorter to hit just below the knee. “We wanted to create a warm parka that is elegant enough to go into a nice restaurant in New York City,” Okamoto explains.
The line also includes the Mila Jacket, a puffer named for the 11th-century yogi Milarepa, and the Lhasa Parka (after the Tibetan capital), an all-season layering piece that can be worn four ways. It includes a reversible bomber jacket that can be detached from the shell by a zipper. The water-repellent outer shell can also be worn alone as a light raincoat.
All the styles are hand-made by a family of artisans in Japan using environmentally conscious materials including organic cotton; recycled down feathers from Green Down Project; and yak wool, which the long-haired bovines native to the Tibetan plateau shed naturally from around their bellies every summer.
When it came time to shoot a look book in the middle of a pandemic, having a professional model on the design team came in handy: Okamoto and Wild modelled the coats themselves around Mammoth Lakes in the Sierra Nevadas, a bit closer than Tibet to their home in California. “We wanted to find something that resembles the Himalayas a little bit, and it’s quite beautiful up there,” Wild says.
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.