Finnish footwear brand Tarvas absolutely stole our hearts when they came onto the scene in 2017, making stylish, outdoorsy footwear with natural materials sourced from neighboring European countries. So too felt Daiki Suziki of Engineered Garments, who first collaborated with the brand in 2019. This week, the brands have reunited to launch an all-new Tarvas all-terrain sneaker. The Tarvas x Engineerd Garments Forest Bather ($277) continues down the outdoors-inspired, functional design path while receiving funky and playful design cues from Daiki and his team.
"What I love most about this collab is Daiki and his team's vision," Tarvas founder Jukka Lehtinen tells us. "They come up with unorthodox executions which combine elements from many different places. On paper it might feel like there’s no way these are going to work, but somehow they still end up as beautifully balanced, finished products. That’s not easy to do."
At its core, the Forest Bather is a low-top hiker in the shape of an everyday sneaker, equipped with a grippy block rubber sole for firm footing on uneven and loose surfaces. Surrounding the shoe is Tarvas’s signature wraparound rubber mudgaurd to ensure longevity in harsh conditions. For its initial collab release, the design leans into the the Japanese concept of "forest bathing" called shinrin-yoku. Employing faux “fur” uppers in Earthen tones chosen by Daiki and the EG team, the shoe finds functional inspiration in both Japanese and Nordic heritage (the "fur" is quite possibly a reference to the traditional Laplander coats made from game furs).
The Tarvas x Engineered Garments Forest Bather is available from the Nepenthes web store and at their Garment District brick and mortar location. Quantities are very limited and only offered in seven sizes, ranging from men’s 8 to 11.