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Bundling up for the coming chill in luxury parkas

MSH & Partners

Bulky. Boring. Boxy. Bland. Bundling up for winter in Boston is a necessity, but rarely a fashionable one.

Montreal designer Nicole Benisti hopes to change that with her luxury line of fall and winter down parkas lined with brightly hued fox fur, coming exclusively to Saks Fifth Avenue in Boston this season.

Her jewel-toned, sleek silhouettes are more elegant than Eskimo, and each is lined with fur in a variety of bold shades (shocking blue, bright magenta). While some might eschew fur, celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and models Elena Perminova and Coco Rocha are fans.

Plus, there’s no denying that these coats are toasty.


“We want women to feel good wearing outerwear,” says the brand’s director, Lauren Pugh. “And being Canadian, fur is a rich part of our history.”

Benisti, who runs the fashion business alongside her husband, Maurice, and their children, feels a kinship with the snowbound New England woman, hence her decision to launch her new offerings here.

“Boston seemed like a natural choice, seeing how the winters mirror Montreal’s. There’s a prominent fashion consumer here in Boston — and cold weather attire is mandatory. I think the Bostonian woman, just like la Montréalaise, wants a cozy, cool yet functional winter parka,” she says.

Designs are named for and designed based on Benisti’s favorite international neighborhoods; London’s Chelsea has straight-cut, sophisticated lines suitable for an afternoon tea; Los Angeles’s Melrose is a mini-parka ideal for jaunts to the gym.

Visit Saks Fifth Avenue at the Prudential Center from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Sept. 22 for a champagne-fueled trunk show party with Benisti’s brand director, Pugh, on hand to offer up fashion advice and to advise customers on customizing their parkas with just the right color fur.

Such coziness doesn’t come cheap — most parkas retail for roughly $2,000. Happily, Benisti plans to donate a portion of proceeds from the show to the MassArt Foundation in support of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, which is staging a fashion exhibit at Saks in September.


Kara Baskin can be reached at kcbaskin@gmail.com.