Icebreaker, the New Zealand-based performance brand, is getting serious about the American market.
The company, which opened a TouchLab store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood in 2010, has hired its first global vice president of retail and will add units in Bethesda, Md., and Chicago this fall. Cathy Quain, who most recently ran marketing, retail and e-commerce at Trina Turk and had also overseen retail for snowboard producer Burton for eight years, will join Icebreaker next month and be based out of the brand’s Portland, Ore., office.
Icebreaker developed the first merino layering systems for the outdoors market and now offers underwear, midlayer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children in more than 3,000 stores in 43 countries. It operates 13 company-owned TouchLab retail stores around the world as well as five stores in France, New Zealand and Colorado that are operated with partners. The company also has offices in Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.
“We’re chipping away,” Jeremy Moon, founder and chief executive officer, told WWD from his headquarters in Wellington, New Zealand. “When we opened the SoHo store, we took the risk of building a flagship in New York so we could learn about retailing. It’s been refreshing to be immersed with our consumers and we’ve reached new customers who weren’t going to our wholesale accounts.”
The 2,225-square-foot Chicago store, which will be located at 44 Walton Street, will be the first Midwestern location for the company and its 10th North American store. It will feature a new design, created by Mapos, that will include a mountain display at the entrance that demonstrates Icebreaker’s layering pieces. The New Zealand sheep used to produce the company’s woolen products were the inspiration for the natural wood walls, fitting rooms, fixtures and shelves. It will also feature a community space where customers can relax and discover more about the brand’s heritage. The store is expected to be opened in October.
A smaller store in Bethesda is slated for a September opening and a unit in Toronto is expected to open in August.
Moon said although the company is adding to its retail roster, wholesale remains the primary focus. Retail and online sales represent 20 percent of Icebreaker’s business.
Moon said with sales now at $180 million, it’s a “pivotal point” for the brand. The addition of Quain and Kristen Celko, formerly of David’s Bridal, Neiman Marcus and Under Armour, who recently joined as vice president of e-commerce and digital marketing, speaks to that point. North America represents one-third of sales, Europe one-third and South America the same.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)