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.
EXCLUSIVE: @tomford is opening its first-ever beauty store. The boutique, which opens November 20 in London’s Covent Gardens, was designed with the over-the-top glam Ford is known for. Read the full story on WWD.com, link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews (📷: Simon Wagner) #TomFordBeauty
New York-based DJ @harleyvnewton threw a party to celebrate the holiday collection of her dress and pajama line @hvn at the Ladurée Beverly Hills. It Girls @katebosworth, @rashidajones and more joined in on the fun, which included cocktails, croque monsieur sandwiches and a photo booth. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA.com)
For the holidays, @Burberry partnered with 20-year-old artist @blondeymccoy on a series of three outdoor murals in downtown Manhattan. The murals are McCoy’s interpretation of a Christmas eve party, the idea of charity and the spirit of family. His third mural, pictured here, is the most personal. The image depicts McCoy’s grandparents and father in London’s Trafalgar Square in the Seventies. “My work often features lots of sentimental objects.” #wwdeye
For spring 2018, designers applied bold colors and cartoonish motifs on everything from sneakers and belts to key chains. See all the top men’s accessories trends on WWD.com. #wwdtrends (📷: George Chinsee; Prop Styling by @rnasti; Market Editor: @luiscampuzano)
The @dior-sponsored @guggenheim international gala pre-party has a history of drawing cool-girl musical acts to serenade the crowd –– and last night was no exception. @haimtheband performed songs both new and old, and lured a star-studded audience with the likes of Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Mamoudou Athie and more. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
In a partnership between the @metopera and the @englishnationalopera, “Marnie” was born. The opera, with costumes sponsored by @mrporterlive, is an adaptation of the 1961 thriller by Winston Graham. Arianne Phillips, who created the costumes, is no rookie: She’s styled Madonna for her tours and created costumes for a myriad of films in the past. Read WWD’s interview with Phillips, where she talks about her inspiration for the opera’s costumes on WWD.com #wwdfashion
@barneysnyc took a different approach to their holiday windows this year. Instead of Christmas decor, Barneys tapped @thehaasbrothers to tell a story of positivity, gratitude and inclusivity via heartwarming silliness and humor. “It’s about kids and it’s about coming together and being family and loving each other,” said Simon Haas. #wwdfashion (📷: @joshuascottphoto)
Beauty influencer @kandeejohnson makes her foray into hair care with a collaboration with @ogx_beauty — making it the first time that OGX has teamed up for a product creation. The collab includes shampoos and conditioners in three scents. At 39 and a mom, Johnson is a different profile than the emerging social media stars, but is considered one of the pioneers of the digital beauty influencer world. Read WWD’s interview with her on wwd.com, including the strangest beauty product she’s ever tried #wwdbeauty