Luxury outerwear and accessories brand Nobis wants to warm thousands in need across the U.S. this winter — and it plans to carry out the mission through its launch of No Cold Shoulder, a global campaign that encourages the upcycling of gently worn coats to “get them on to the shoulders of the most vulnerable members of their communities.”
Canada-based Nobis partnered with nonprofit One Warm Coat for the initiative, which launches Nov. 1. Through One Warm Coat’s national network of local charity agencies, the organization will help Nobis ensure that any donated coats are safely and effectively put in the hands of those in need, the brand said, adding that they are together committed to helping warm 10,000 people in need this season across the U.S. at the start of the program.
Robin Yates, vice president and cofounder at Nobis, told WWD that No Cold Shoulder was born out of a pop-up concept the brand produced in Toronto and Leeds, U.K., last fall season. Eager to explore ways to expand the initiative, Yates thought of One Warm Coat. “The synergy with One Warm Coat came quite naturally,” Yates said, adding that the organization is a well-known, national organization that focuses on giving back to as many local communities as possible, and was Nobis’ first choice within the U.S.
“Together, we will kick off the program by warming 10,000 individuals across the U.S., with the hope to inspire others to join in our efforts. In Canada, we found a similar partnership with the New Circles’ GLOW, as well as several organizations internationally. By having these partnerships in place, we are able to create an international program that makes it easy and safe for consumers to get involved in giving back within their own communities at the most critical time.”
And the No Cold Shoulder campaign will be led by Nobis’ global brand ambassador, Giacomo Gianniotti, an Italian-Canadian actor and philanthropist (best known for his role as Dr. Deluca in “Grey’s Anatomy”), who will be the official global spokesperson for the campaign, and was part of the initiative from its early planning stages. “This is the year that we have seen the true meaning of the word community and how we are inextricably linked,” Gianniotti said, adding that he “[encourages] everyone to join Nobis in helping keep the most vulnerable safe and warm this winter.”
There are two ways shoppers can take part in No Cold Shoulder: “Each purchase made on nobis.com during the month of November will include a prepaid biodegradable mailer to make a safe and effortless coat donation from your own closet,” the brand explained. As a “thank you,” Nobis said it will include its limited-edition No Cold Shoulder beanie in the mailer.
Or, alternatively shoppers can request a bag at a participating retailer to make a donation of a gently worn coat (and also receive a complimentary No Cold Shoulder beanie, while supplies last, they noted). Participating retailers include Syd Jerome (Chicago); Paragon Sporting Goods (New York); Fashioning Space (various locations, including New York State, Boston and Philadelphia), and Darien Sport Shop (Darien, Conn.). A full list of retailers will be found at nocoldshoulder.com and nobis.com/No Cold Shoulder upon the launch, the brand said.
Nobis added that 100 percent of sales from the No Cold Shoulder beanie or enamel pins on its web site will be donated to One Warm Coat. And, Nobis will donate $50 to the organization for every coat purchased.
“At this unprecedented moment in history, No Cold Shoulder will have a direct impact on the lives of thousands of people in need,” said Beth W. Amodio, president and chief executive officer of One Warm Coat. “We are grateful to Nobis for their financial contribution and ongoing commitment to build awareness of the need for warmth.”
“Nobis is Latin for ‘us,’ and inherent to our name, we embrace a responsibility to the community in both our personal and corporate conduct,” Yates explained. “These values remained a key pillar to the Nobis brand, and we honored and continue this commitment with the launch of No Cold Shoulder.”
Its initiative’s apropos timing, though, is happenstance — Nobis planned to partner with One Warm Coat just prior to the unexpected challenges that emerged and persisted throughout 2020.
“Though we did not know it at the time of the conception of this visionary initiative, 2020 quickly became a year of global pandemic-driven, socioeconomic challenges for so many. Instead of pushing out this initiative, the entire Nobis team invested their passion and energy in encouraging people within our global community to ‘open their arms’ and warm their hearts by donating a jacket to those in need — thus, No Cold Shoulder was born.”
Yates added that COVID-19 “forced” the outerwear market to innovate. Yates told WWD, “As premium outerwear is traditionally an in-store purchase for most, the landscape will have to broaden to incorporate more digital experiences, and without face-to-face retail interactions, customer service will be paramount.”
“We feel that our overall business this year has been stronger than originally anticipated given the uncertainty of the marketplace worldwide and challenges presented by the pandemic. The growth of our e-commerce business has been a huge catalyst to the success for Nobis this season. With recently added digital integrations with our retail boutiques, it has allowed us to give our consumers a true omnichannel experience.”
Fashion, Form, Function
Nobis judiciously follows an unbeatable three-ingredient recipe of fashion, form and function. Its customer seeks simplistic silhouettes and classic designs, which the brand delivers alongside convertible, high-quality investment pieces designed for greater longevity. The brand is known for its fabric innovations in technical outerwear, using ethically sourced, sustainable and traceable materials, such as cotton, nylon, leather, wool, certified Canadian Duck Down, and collectively offers a set of alluring performance qualities.
“We find ourselves particularly well positioned for [No Cold Shoulder], as our brand ethos has always prioritized versatility in both style and functionality in timeless silhouettes,” Yates explained. “Featuring such elements as removable collars, furs and hoods, as well as membrane lamination and seam seal construction, we’re delivering waterproof, windproof and breathable products that adapt to the ever-changing environments and wide range of seasonality that our consumers may experience in their extended time outdoors this year. We also believe our subtle, tonal branding across timeless design caters to the purchasing habits of consumers this season.”
Shoppers’ winter market favorites include Nobis’ signature styles, such as its “Yatesy” men’s parka, “Merideth” women’s parka and the “Oliver,” a men’s reversible puffer. Yates said in spite of offering a slew of fabrications and colors across its past collections, both retailers and shoppers “trend toward a more neutral palette in their outerwear.”
And Nobis said an exclusive capsule collection is on the horizon. “Last season we announced a global partnership with NBA Champion and style icon Serge Ibaka of the Toronto Raptors. This season, we are excited to share that evolution with the launch of an exclusive capsule. On and off of the court, Serge epitomizes passion, drive and standout style in his pursuit.”
“Slated for a November launch, the upcoming collection of apparel and accessories unites our technical skills with Serge’s impeccable aesthetic. Serge’s resounding traits are anchored in the pillars of our brand — and a shared commitment to excellence is at the core of our DNA.”
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