At 91, Burt Avedon, Former Willis & Geiger Icon, Launches Kickstarter Campaign to Fund New Signature Clothing Label

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After 30+ years designing and supervising the manufacturing of over 500 individual styles of distinctive garments and accessories for iconic brands like Willis & Geiger, Orvis, Beretta, Woolrich and Eddie Bauer, Burt Avedon and Susan Colby have launched a new line of high‐performance field wear under their own label: Avedon & Colby. The first garment in the new collection is their Signature Field Shirt, which was introduced on Kickstarter® (search “fieldshirt” on Kickstarter) and online on October 1st, 2014.

Burt Avedon, a WWII Navy fighter pilot, former Top Gun instructor and president of Willis & Geiger from 1978 until 1999, was inspired to launch the Avedon & Colby Signature Collection on his 90th birthday. “I figured there was no time left to waste, so Susan and I pulled out the stops to get our ideas down on paper and into production”, Avedon explained. “Then somebody asked me ‘Why start at 90?’ and I replied ‘Why the hell not?’”

Designed with the philosophy “function not fashion”, the new field shirt incorporates 19 distinct performance features: some “signature” features they developed over the past 40+ years – and two new innovations never seen in a field shirt before. “Our objective was to create the most comfortable, most functional field shirt you’ll ever wear,” Avedon continued.

“So, when it came to quality and attention to detail, we spared nothing. From our 100% cotton long‐staple bush poplin – in historic “tea‐dyed” British Tan – to quality details found only on fine‐tailored shirts, we’re confident our Signature Field Shirt will live up to the standards of those who require the very best – and then some.”

Avedon concluded, “Susan and I are very excited to be back to designing premium performance garments for ourselves once again – the way we did together in the early Willis & Geiger days.” The new Signature Field Shirt is available on Kickstarter until October 31 (search “field shirt”), and can also be pre‐ordered on the Avedon & Colby website: http://www.avedoncolby.com. The shirt will retail for $179.

Visit the Kickstarter Campaign

ABOUT AVEDON & COLBY:

BURT AVEDON: After a distinguished career as a Navy fighter pilot serving in combat during both World War II and Korea – and later as a test pilot, Top Gun instructor and a bush pilot in Africa — Burt purchased Willis & Geiger in 1978. Founded in 1902, Willis & Geiger was the major creditor to the original Abercrombie & Fitch when it went into bankruptcy in 1977‐78. Armed with a Navy‐financed Harvard MBA and three year’s experience as a professional hunter in British East Africa, Burt set about to revive the bankrupt company by re‐introducing improved and entirely new versions of many of the iconic Willis & Geiger styles that had so capably outfitted adventurers and explorers like Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and others. When Land’s End closed Willis & Geiger in 1999 during a company‐wide downsizing, Burt and Susan launched their design and consulting firm, Avedon & Colby, to create premium performance wear and accessories for leading outdoor and lifestyle brands.

SUSAN COLBY: Susan joined Burt at Willis & Geiger in 1986 with an art degree from Smith College following a successful career as first an art teacher, then as a member of Westinghouse’s Design Center, Associated Merchandising Corporation, and finally at Paul Stuart/NYC as a designer and buyer. Together, Burt and Susan designed garments and accessories for Willis & Geiger that blended the classic good taste of a bygone era of wilderness exploration with high‐performance features never before seen by outdoor enthusiasts. They continued this tradition after the close of Willis & Geiger, designing premium performance clothing and accessories for leading outdoor and lifestyle brands like Orvis, Beretta, Woolrich, King Ranch, Kevin’s and Eddie Bauer.

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Brittney Lacoste
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