Designing The Women’s Isola Lightweight Down Jacket

Where to start when creating a down jacket? A women's outdoor-focused insulator, a stylish transitional coat chic enough for city sidewalks, or lightweight warmth and the benefits of technical outerwear? At Vallier, we embraced the challenge of incorporating all of these designs into one, knowing this jacket would be a signature piece if we did it right—looks and all. 

Backed by our guiding principle of functional design, we took the following perspective: a late November morning, ultra-warm insulation, match-able with both formal and casual ensembles, an extended streamlined cut, a feminine colour palette, and something to slide under a wool coat on a cold mid-winter evening. 

The Canadian climate demands a particular type of insulation, and our light down jacket had to be both perfect for the fall and spring 'shoulder seasons' and warm enough for standalone wear in early winter. 

Light, sleek, warm, and refined...enter the Isola.

Uniquely Urban

The need for the Isola to have a tailored look stood out. Instead of oversized baffles, we slimmed down the profile, creating a minimalist urban silhouette in a slightly puffy style with maximum warmth. It hugs the hips literally, extending longer than your usual down jacket—perfect for those cold-morning commutes when you need a little more coverage without sacrificing style.

We love accessories, but they can be tricky to wear with high-standing collars. Our Isola has a unique bomber jacket-style collar. Yes, our collar is down-insulated for warmth, but it’s also low enough to let you wrap a merino scarf next to your skin. 

The fit and collar weren’t the only things on our minds—a feminine Rose colourway balances the greys and reds of autumn. For a more ‘blend-in’ look, you can also opt for a classic black, which is always trending. The Isola responds to seasons and surroundings with a smooth naturalness thanks to its hues.

Ethical High-Loft Down

Warmth is critical in any cool-season jacket. The Isola benefits from ethically-sourced 800 fill power down, a high rating better for retaining maximum body heat. In fact, it’s rare for an urban down jacket to have that amount of extra-lofty down. This means even in the colder months, you can layer the Isola over your favourite cashmere sweater or under a heavier wool overcoat and get all the warm comfort you desire. 

A stretch-woven baffle construction ensures the down feathers don’t poke out of the inner or outer fabric—keeping all the down inside so you remain warm. Interestingly, the appearance is that of a traditional puffy jacket with stitched baffles, but the Isola eliminates the inevitable weak points that come with thread stitching. 

Because we care about our designs’ environmental impact and the well-being of animals, the Responsible Down Standard monitors humane plucking of our down to the source. Every cluster is traceable, making for a more ethical insulation than your average down jacket.

Smooth & Stretchy Fabric

The stretch weaving doesn't end at the baffles. We chose to have the entire face fabric stretch-woven. It increases mobility and has a near-matte finish, as opposed to a glossy sheen which flashes loudly on the face of a garment and sweats next to skin. Plus the fabric is smooth on both sides—on milder autumn or spring days, you can comfortably slip the Isola over just a t-shirt or light sweater.  

Subtle statements appeal more to us, and Vallier speaks to refined displays of better taste—thus the small woven Vallier wordmark label on the sleeve of the Isola.

Modern Elegance

We wanted to put a different spin on modern-fashion-meets-functional-design, and the Isola took us in a new and exciting direction. It’s an elegant investment piece with a modern minimalism that will keep you warm and in-style over the coming seasons.

Our design certainly surpassed our expectations—we’re confident the Isola will exceed yours.