LIVSN comes from the Swedish word livsnjutare: “One who loves life deeply; an enjoyer of life.” The term encapsulates this Arkansas-based brand’s mission to prioritize experiences over stuff — an unlikely angle coming from a clothing company that adds their own line of “stuff” to the industry.
But LIVSN approaches their production process from an understated and functionality-first perspective that seems like it would send them straight out of business. The muted, earth-toned color palette nearly blends right in with the dirt, rock, and greenery of any outdoor landscape. These apparel items don’t exactly call attention to themselves.
To understand why, we get Unpacked with LIVSN.
LIVSN doesn’t want to be loud. There’s enough of that in the outdoor industry, especially given the neon boom over recent years. Andrew Gibbs-Dabney, Founder and CEO of LIVSN, believes that there’s just as much power in blending in as there is in standing out. He describes their designs as “technically featured, aesthetically simple.” Apparel that prepares the wearer for an amazing adventure ahead doesn’t need its own air of extravagance to make a mark. Memories from the experience itself will last longer than the novelty of any trend or gimmick, and imprint everlasting value onto the clothing.
Along those lines, LIVSN produces clothing that eschews fast fashion in favor of a timeless style based on tailored, straight-cut fits and colorways that seamlessly integrate with any environment. The rack of pants resembles mountain and desert backdrops, running the gradient from a golden tawny to slate gray to rich navy blue to a soft olive green. The more they match the ambience, the better they can align with the adventure at hand. The real value lies in its application, not its immediate appearance: fabric that stretches to accommodate a wide range of movement, plentiful pockets in a variety of accessible locations, durable construction fit to withstand any tussle with nature, articulated knees, gusseted crotch, and even something as subtly thoughtful as longer hems in the back of shorts made to accommodate athletic builds and keep from riding up under backpacks or harnesses.
That’s not to say that LIVSN doesn’t care about appearance. These garments are undeniably attractive, featuring a soft matte finish that’s easy on the eyes and slim silhouettes that contour the body. LIVSN simply prioritizes walking the walk over talking the talk.
‘Surprise Me’ Repairs
Nevertheless, Gibbs-Dabney doesn’t take himself or his brand too seriously. There’s still room for fun in the LIVSN line, especially when — like every other detail — it serves a good purpose. The one time you’ll see flair on a LIVSN item is when it receives a second life. The brand’s unique repair program allows customers to send in products they’ve put through the wringer and have them repaired, but part of the deal is handing over creative license. Patches with bright colors and powerful patterns come into play as a way of celebrating the choice to repair instead of replace.
“We want to highlight repairs, not hide them,” explains Gibbs-Dabney. “We’re rooted in a culture of making it acceptable to wear refurbished clothing and keep things in service for longer. Clothing does wear out, no matter how well it’s made, but you can still give it new life.”
Slow and Steady Process
The product lineup at LIVSN is notably narrow. That’s another intentional decision in the name of quality. Rather than release a huge range of styles all at once, Gibbs-Dabney opts to focus on one thing at a time until its dialed in well enough to expand from there. The brand started with just men’s apparel, offering a select few designs in singular colors until the foundation was strong enough to support other iterations. Each new product then builds on the lessons learned from the one before.
With plenty of knowledge from menswear under their belt, the LIVSN team is just beginning the foray into women’s clothing. Right now, female customers can get their hands on two core designs: canvas pants that parallel the flagship men’s version, and a pair of trail-ready workhorse tights.
That’s it for now, but not for long. “Our goal is to have a women’s product for every men’s,” Gibbs-Dabney clarifies, “but we want to make sure each one is up to par first. We want to do it right from the beginning.”
Shorts for women are on the horizon, and will join the lineup as soon as they span the gap between prototype and finished product.
LIVSN’s Product Lineup
Until then, LIVSN offers up the products that have already aced every test. Men can get their hands on the sturdy Flex Canvas Pants and Flex Canvas Shorts, the lightweight Ecotrek Trail Pants, and the stretchy Reflex Shorts.
Women have their own version of the Flex Canvas Pants, complete with adjustable cuffs and — a true rarity — pockets just as deep as the men’s. The Trail Tights boast six pockets of their own, and fabric thick enough to put up a good fight against brushes with rocks and branches. Both lines put the same emphasis on durability, longevity, and versatility over all.
You’ll still look darn good out there, but you’ll feel even better knowing that you picked an apparel companion that’s much more partner-in-crime than tagalong sidekick.
Lucie Hanes is an avid writer and adventurer on rock and trail with a passion for sharing her outdoor enthusiasms through journalism and mental strength consultation.