Designing for tomorrow´s hunter

Härkila designer Adina Kufeld has an exciting and often rather challenging job. Not only does she need to know what hunters will want two years down the line, but she also has to keep up with the march of technology, and enhance functionality and comfort for the benefit of discerning and quality-conscious Härkila hunters.

Functionality above all
"This green really captures the autumn shades of Scandinavia". Adina Kufeld is engrossed in the fabric samples she has brought home from her inspirational trip. The other participants at the design meeting agree with her. Her eagerness to get down to designing the 2018 collection rises above the jetlag that is weighing on her. You see, Adina Kufeld works two years into the future and she closed the chapter on the 2016 collection a long time ago. But what does she look for when designing for tomorrow’s hunter?

"Both now and in two years’ time, the clothing must demonstrate that it is for expert use, so functionality is crucial. The idea is to let the hunter focus completely on the hunt. The suit must withstand whatever the weather throws at the wearer. Beyond the fabric technology, it’s the details that count. So there are always cartridge holders in the trouser thigh pockets, articulated elbows and knees or stretch panels for comfort and flexibility", explains Adina Kufeld.

Mostly green and brown
For Adina Kufeld, it’s about keeping up with the current trends, so that the clothes are always at the forefront in terms of technology, silence, weight, comfort and breathability. These are the keywords in every Härkila product formula; most of the colours are predetermined.

"The clothes are designed to be used outdoors, so they have to blend in with nature’s own colours. We do use camouflage, snow white and safety orange, but green and brown are the collection’s dominant colours. And this will be true in two years’ time too", she says, continuing:
“The key thing is for the clothes to liberate, not restrict the hunter. Even if the hunter needs to be comfortable, and mostly dressed in green or brown, looks still count.”
Performance: "Here we need to be at the top of our game"
Aesthetics are especially important in the Classic line, which is aimed at game shooting, where the look must be kept traditional. If you are more into hunting that exposes the clothes to wear, such as working with dogs, the Endurance line can take more of a beating. But it is the latest line, Performance, that is challenging Adina Kufeld as a designer:
"Performance is for the high-intensity hunt; hunting that sets the pulse racing. This line offers opportunities for experimentation, but, against that, here we need to be at the top of our game. This is where the discerning hunter demands freedom of movement and lightweight gear. And the styles here need to be sporty and inspired by outdoor activities. But, in none of the three lines are quality, functionality, comfort and breathability up for compromise", asserts Adina.

The old with the new
When asked about which Härkila styles Adina Kufeld is especially proud of, she has a ready answer: the Pro Hunter Wild Boar suit, the Expedition Down jackets and the Metso family. The Metso products in particular encapsulate the essence of the Härkila brand.

"In the Pro Hunter Wild Boar suit and the Expedition Down jackets, we experimented with entirely new combinations of different technologies and materials. The result is something unique on the market.  With Metso, we introduced a family with the appearance of a traditional hunting fabric, evoking the old loden cloth, but with the application of new technology, combining the wool with hard-wearing fibre and a Bionic Finish treatment. The design and functionality meet the needs of today’s hunters in terms of various hunting details", says Adina Kufeld, concluding that: I always try to ground our designs in tradition, but with an innovative and contemporary edge. For me, it’s the ultimate synergy when we apply new technology and know-how to a familiar hunting material such as leather, loden or oilskin.

Adina Kufeld, Härkila clothes designer since 2007

Text by: Morten Brockmeyer / Photos by: Thomas Lindy Nissen, Jakob Christensen
November 2016