NEW YORK — Reykjavik is tough enough to pronounce, never mind to dress for, but that hasn’t deterred 66°North from planting a touch of its native Iceland in a temporary SoHo store.
With seven stores in Iceland and one in Latvia, the company has set up shop at 158 Mercer Street to bolster its U.S. presence. Icelandic music, including a few live performances, and photographs will give shoppers a better sense for the brand’s homeland. Reyka Vodka, another brand making a push in the U.S. market, will provide tastings from time to time — a sure bet to beat any winter chill.
Initially considered a branding opportunity, 66°North now expects the 2,500-square-foot space to be profitable, an anomaly for a temporary space, said president Sharon Prince. To maximize holiday sales, there will be extended hours, with the store staying open until 11 p.m. on select nights.
The Pompei A.D.-designed store should help the brand top $1 million in sales in the U.S. this year, Prince said.
A window display of performance-oriented apparel designed for the Icelandic Search & Rescue team has attracted some shoppers who were unfamiliar with the brand, she said. Women like the looks of a $290 hip-length jacket with a knit collar and cuffs, which has been a bestseller, as have a $220 technical fleece motorcycle-type jacket, a $290 hooded soft shell jacket and a $75 wool hat with ear flaps and a fake-fur lining.
An official store opening party will be held Wednesday, thanks to sponsors GQ and Reyka Vodka. A screening of “Screaming Masterpiece,” a film that examines the history of Icelandic rock; artist and photographer appearances, and a Time Out-sponsored children’s fashion show are some of the other events planned for the store.