By  on December 13, 2005

NEW YORK — The Weatherproof Garment Co. has gotten a jump start on the winter selling season by sponsoring the Bryant Park Pond, the new public skating facility in Bryant Park here.

As part of the deal, the brand is selling its coats in the 800-square-foot outerwear shop adjacent to the skating rink. Leonardo DiCaprio breezed by the store to buy a pair of gloves last month, according to the company.

To date, 600 women's coats have been sold, with bestsellers being a down-filled long coat, a faux Persian lamb walker, a three-in-one performance jacket, a faux lynx trenchcoat and a multicolored plaid wool peacoat. Each of those styles retail for $99.

Weatherproof will hold an on-ice fashion show and a cocktail party at the Bryant Park Pond on Jan. 10.

Weatherproof president Freddie Stollmack said, "Bryant Park is such a great location. It's become somewhat of a tourist attraction with the ice rink and the holiday boutiques that opened in December. I think this will become a fixture in New York."

Weatherproof staffers have a bird's-eye view of the skating rink from their Sixth Avenue offices, and Stollmack said he routinely uses the skating area for trend-watching. He said he usually stops by every other day to see what skaters are wearing and to see what shoppers are buying. Stollmack said he is also keeping an eye on any vacancies on upper Madison Avenue, where the company is considering opening a store.

In other news, the brand's new outdoor advertising campaign is on a billboard on the southeast corner of Broadway and 38th Street. Instead of featuring celebrities in its ads as it has in recent years, Weatherproof is showing a drawing of a row of paint cans carrying its logo with the tagline "One Great Coat." The company will double its annual advertising budget to more than $5 million in 2006, Stollmack said.

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