An ultra-warm down coat with a difference

Qiviut & Co’s high-performance outerwear is filled with musk-ox hair

Qiviut & Co’s coat is lightweight but warm, thanks to its musk-ox hair filling
Qiviut & Co’s coat is lightweight but warm, thanks to its musk-ox hair filling

My husband is notoriously difficult to buy presents for. But for Christmas I picked a real winner that is both chic and supremely practical – and is about to come into its own in the freezing days of January. It is a lightweight yet ridiculously warm coat with a thermal prowess that is the result of a unique and hard-to-source filling called qiviut: musk-ox hair that is found only in Alaska, Canada and Greenland.

Qiviut & Co polyester/cotton-jacquard coat, £975 
Qiviut & Co polyester/cotton-jacquard coat, £975 

I was tipped off about Qiviut & Co – the brand founded by London-based American entrepreneur Robert Gould –  through a friend; these gender-neutral coats, they said, are perfect for business travellers who favour a coat with a slim profile but require serious heat.

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Gould’s passion for qiviut was fostered while living in Alaska for 38 years, but it wasn’t until he moved to London in 1994 that he decided to bring the ultra-soft fibre to a broader market. “I thought there was a niche for something new, unique and exclusive in the natural fibre category,” he says.

The three-quarter-length coat is gender-neutral, so women can wear it too
The three-quarter-length coat is gender-neutral, so women can wear it too

The result is a three-quarter-length coat (£975) with a polyester shell and a smooth cotton-jacquard lining. I was instantly won over by the aesthetics: think Barbour-meets-Loro Piana. Its currently only available in navy, in a limited edition of 500 – each one numbered and registered.

The coat comes with a detachable collar/hood 
The coat comes with a detachable collar/hood 

While my husband may not be particularly interested in sewing details, production numbers or the construction of his new garment, he is already a huge fan. Highlights for him – as well as the warmth, of course – are the detachable collar/hood and the fact that it works equally well with jeans as with a tailored suit.

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