Our History

Burt Avedon

Burt has experienced more in his lifetime than most, and he is, simply put, the real deal – a true adventurer…learning to fly at 12… joining Claire Chennault's volunteer group in 1941…a navy fighter pilot serving in combat during both World War II and Korea – and later as a test pilot and Top Gun instructor…Formula 1 racing in Italy and a bush pilot in Africa…he is a senior member of "The Explorer's Club" and not one to slow down – even those who know him today – in his 90s!

In 1978 – Burt purchased Willis & Geiger, the historic outfitter founded in 1902. Armed with a Navy-financed Harvard MBA and three year's experience as a professional hunter in British East Africa, he set about to revive the bankrupt company by re-introducing improved versions of many of the iconic Willis & Geiger styles that had so capably outfitted adventurers and explorers like Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and more.

Today, at just 91 and still going strong, Burt is as dialed in as always – thinking about the end user and what it is that they want. Abiding by a design philosophy that never disappoints – he focuses on function and performance – and how to maximize it.

Read the 2013 Vice article about Burt.

Susan Colby

Susan joined Burt at Willis & Geiger in 1986 with an art degree from Smith College following a successful career as first an art teacher, then as a member of Westinghouse's Design Center, Associated Merchandising Corporation and finally, at Paul Stuart/NYC as a designer and buyer.

Together, Burt and Susan work to design and develop innovative garments and accessories that blend the classic good taste of a bygone era of wilderness exploration and adventure with high-performance features never before seen by outdoor enthusiasts.

Our Experience

We have been working together as a design team specializing in premium performance clothing for almost 30 years. Together we have created designs and supervised the manufacturing of over 500 individual styles of distinctive garments and accessories for many of the prestigious lifestyle brands you know well:

Willis & Geiger (1979-1999)

As Consultants (1999-today) for:

The Orvis Company
Eddie Bauer
Kevin's Fine Outdoor
Gear & Apparel
Duluth Trading
King Ranch
J. Peterman
Colonial Williamsburg
FM Allen
Working Person's Store Mossy Oak Apparel
Bill's Khakis
Stormy Kromer
J.L. Powell
Sara Lee/Duofold