Seattle has shown a knack as of late for successfully bringing together two seemingly opposing ideas. In recent memory, fine dining establishment Canlis collaborated with Shake Shack on a pop-up event and Amazon infused mobile technology into the traditional brick-and-mortar store concept that is redefining how we restock our fridge.
So it should not come as a surprise that Seattle-based Buki, a self-described tech company that designs apparel, is bringing together fashion, beauty, and wellness by reintroducing collagen, a protein known for the health benefits for skin elasticity and joint mobility, as something beneficial to wear.
Following Buki’s launch in 2016, the brand has introduced apparel made with innovative Kinoki-3.0TM and Japanese fiber technology. The Collagen Collection marks the brand’s next step in expanding its portfolio of innovative textiles, which have the potential to reshape the sportswear industry with designs that are truly technology based and luxurious in feel.
The new collection features classic women’s style essentials that, among other benefits, are said to soften the wearer’s skin. "It is the softest material I have ever worn,” says Pamela Lipton (IG: @pamela_lipton), a New York-based blogger. And it’s truly difficult to describe how incredibly soft the collagen fabric is; something akin to sateen sheets mixed with fine cashmere and the liquid-like fluidity of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak (OK, OK; point made?).
The truth is that you have stop by Buki’s downtown flagship boutique at 1826 Sixth Avenue to feel for yourself.
How It Works
Buki was co-founded by Joey Rodolfo, an authority in the Pacific Northwest fashion community with an impressive resume. He was a designer at Tommy Bahama and founded beloved fashion label Cutter and Buck. The new collection is designed to keep skin soft and youthful by retaining moisture that would otherwise escape from our skin throughout the day.
The magic lies in the marine collagen sourced from a shallow swimming white fish -- not to worry, it is sustainably sourced -- the scales from which are turned into a fine powder and infused into a cellulose fiber. Rodolfo has worked with a Japanese-based mill to bring the textile to life.
“The collagen is actually in the fiber so it’s never going away,” adds Stacy Bennett, Buki co-founder. Other advantages to wearing the collection include natural UPF 50 protection and odor neutralization.
Rodalfo says he started working on the idea of collagen-infused textiles nearly 15 years ago, but the technology was not yet up to par. “It was going to be a difficult process because after 10 to 20 washes, the infusion would wash out,” he says.
Some say this is too good to be true, but Buki has had the Collagen Collection successfully tested for performance by two of the world’s top independent fiber testing companies. The benefits of the collection challenge the effectiveness of other performance sportswear lines many of whom the Buki co-founder says regularly use topically applied chemicals or a dipping process to achieve results. Not to mention, each piece in the collection is machine washable and wrinkle resistant.
Pieces like the Collagen Turtleneck and Collagen Hoodie are designed to be worn close to the body to ensure that skin softening and UV protection properties are maximized. They are sculpted around the shoulders and cut close to the wearer’s arms meaning they can be effortlessly layered into your current wardrobe.
The Collagen Collection has industry insiders intrigued and Buki has leaned into the excitement by quickly designing new pieces to maximize the wellness benefits of the collagen-laced fabric. What can shoppers expect in the future? A new sleeping mask that will complement the pillow cover currently available on the brand’s website. New colors are in the works too, including jet black, pearl grey and blush pink. And not to worry gents: A collagen-infused men’s collection will launch early next year.
“As I continue to travel and expand the Buki brand it becomes clearer to me just how excited people are about what’s happening in Seattle,” says Rodolfo. “Our city is truly a space for innovation in their eyes.”
There might be plenty of fish in the vast sea of performance related apparel. But once you feel the Collagen Collection for yourself, you might realize it’s the one you want to catch.