Behind the scenes of DC's Topographica Collection

By Morgan Mallett

Here is some insight into the process behind Design + Conquer's Topographica collection. Scroll down to see my inspirations, process, studio animals, and more!

The 1980s Blackcomb logo, topographic maps, and trail markers were big influences on the collection. I lived in Whistler, British Columbia [Canada], when I was little, and I'm sure the typography and identity surrounding Blackcomb mountain absorbed into my overactive brain somewhere along the way. I still prefer this logo to the current Whistler-Blackcomb logo, because of its minimalism, and its reference to west coast First Nations art.

Above: Frodo, my hiking studio cat on the Baden Powell trail in North Vancouver, BC.

Early design lineup sketched out. Frodo was not amused.

Testing a variety of plastics, including thermoplastics and vinyl.

The best part! Seeing what a material can do, and prototyping. And re-prototyping.

Marking sheets with tailor's chalk for the collection's first prototypes.

My materials mentor...well, his cat! Thanks, Rick Carlson for your advice and letting me bring a few of your farm critters into your workshop. 

Sourcing industrial fastenings in Burnaby, BC.

An early version of DC's Outcrop Headpiece.

When prototypes work, a dance party is just the ticket!

Rick's interpretation of the collection. Werk.

Shooting the final designs on Mt. Fromme for the Topographica preview video. Click here to view it.

Back at the studio capturing more footage for the preview video. Thanks to Bear in Heaven for permission to use a clip of their track 'Sinful Nature' in the video.

At the collection photo shoot with awesomely patient model Natasja Parlee. She is also a senior apparel designer at Mountain Equipment Coop. Multi-talented!

Photographer Aaron Aubrey on location in Vancouver's Gastown. A master of lighting effects.

Model What's a photo shoot without a good faux-stache? Jamie Pryde [left] humouring me while we test lighting.

A big thank you to my friends and family, and to Rick Carlson. Thanks for answering my many and unusual questions, and for access to your amazing facility in Langley, Rick! I couldn't have done it without you. View and buy the new collection here.

Happy Conquering,

Morgan Mallett

Topographica credits:
Photographer | Aaron Aubrey
Models | Natasja Parlee + Jamie Pryde
Makeup | Bree-Anna Lehto
Hair | Chris Bennett
Art direction and video | Morgan Mallett
Music | 'Sinful Nature,' by Bear in Heaven | Buy it here:


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