WSJ: Minnesota is chic, no longer embarrassed by cold

If you want to learn about Minnesota, can you do any better than a fashion reporter for the Wall Street Journal who’s based out of Los Angeles?

Watching a video posted on the WSJ site yesterday is an eye-rolling experience for the locals. It attempted to explain the effort by the Dayton brothers to rebrand Minnesota from part of the Midwest to the “North.”

“As I was looking through some of the things coming out of Minnesota, like Faribault Woolens, I suddenly started lusting after these cold-weather products,” Christina Binkley said, while pronouncing it Fair-ih-bolt.

We also learned that up until the Daytons stepped in, Minnesotans were embarrassed by the cold weather here.

“For a long time, they’ve been known for their skyways in which you can go an entire winter and never step outside,” she said. “They’ve changed their mind; they won the 2018 Super Bowl, in part, by owning the cold, they say, and now they’re trying to impress people with the fact that they have all these wonderful outdoor sports that you can do in the winter.”

We’ve changed our minds? Ah, then.

In her accompanying article, she attributes her information to the University of Minnesota school of design.

The harsh climate and hard-core work ethic that produced these items play a big role in the region’s emerging image. Tom Fisher, dean of the design school at the University of Minnesota, has also been speaking out for “North,” saying that robust heritage is what makes Minnesota stand out. “Innovation comes of adversity,” he says.

Like other “North” supporters, he says Minnesota has failed to embrace its most notable characteristic. “Winter and cold climate is actually a huge economic advantage,” he says. Northern climes in Europe, from Denmark to Alpine Italy are known for creative ingenuity, he says, in part because people stay inside and cook up ideas.

She reported that Minnesota has difficulty attracting people to the state, apparently because “people hate the term Midwest.”

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