On July 1, the final two episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 premiered on Netflix. Within the first few minutes of the finale, we check in with Hopper (David Harbour) and Joyce (Winona Ryder) as they attempt to escape Russia and make it back to the kids battling Vecna in Hawkins, Indiana. In an effort to keep as warm as possible, they come across shipping crates full of popular American products that had been smuggled into the country and would become their wardrobe for the remainder of the episode: yellow Hulk Hogan T-shirts, Moon Boots, and bright blue ski jackets with red and blue chevron shoulder panels that look like they were pulled straight off of a ski resort in the ’80s. Given the show’s dark and gloomy lighting, you cannot help but be drawn to the vibrant coats whenever they are on screen, even after they are covered in dirt and grime following Hopper’s battles with the Demogorgons.
But the jackets weren’t vintage pieces from the ’80s sourced off of eBay or created by a large fashion house. The designer of the patriotic-colored jackets was Crescent Down Works, a small family business that specializes in down-filled outerwear and has been operating out of Seattle since 1974. Annie Michelson, a Crescent Down Works production manager whose mother founded the company, says that costume designer Amy Parris originally reached out back in 2020 with the opportunity. While the brand has never produced items for a major television series before, she was happy to participate.
“Stranger Things is huge. I heard from Amy Parris and she was like, ‘Oh, I’m gonna post Crescent Down Works on Instagram.’ I looked at Stranger Things’ Instagram and I was like, ‘Oh my god, there’s 20 million followers.’ I was simultaneously horrified and thrilled,” Michelson tells Complex. “Amy was just delightful to work with and everything that we proposed, they really liked. They were just a really easy crew to deal with. We’re super small. It’s just me, my shipper, and 10 sewers. We just don’t have a huge capacity for a lot of big custom programs. We’re not a big fashion company, so I was appreciative that they were so chill and flexible.”
Luckily for fans of the show, it appears that Crescent Down Works has decided to release a limited run of the jackets for preorder on its site following the response of the finale. The blue, white, and red design costs $875 and will ship out in January 2023. Like all of the brand’s products, they will be made entirely in Seattle.
“This area really inspired my mom and these pieces,” says Michelson. “So it just makes it a labor of love and it feels good to make it here. We’ll do that as long as we’re around.”
We got a chance to sit down with Michelson over video chat for a rare interview to hear more about how the project for Stranger Things came together, collaborating with other brands like 3sixteen, why the company has had so much success in Japan throughout its history, and more. Check out the conversation below.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.