LONDON — Philip Treacy is trying on a new hat — as a sportswear designer.
The milliner has teamed up with British sports brand Umbro to produce a line called Philip Treacy for Umbro, featuring footwear and apparel for women and men.
“It’s been a whole new experience for all of us,” Treacy said.
For Umbro, the Treacy collaboration, due to last for at least three years, is meant to appeal to fashion-savvy females and shoppers with an eye for luxury, which are key new targets for the brand.
“We want to challenge the perception of Umbro,” said Simon Jobson, category manager for trends at the Manchester-based label, adding that Umbro also recently teamed up with men’s wear designer Kim Jones to create a line of edgy sportswear aimed at the youth market.
The collaboration is one of the latest marriages between high fashion and High Street sporting brands. In 2004, for example, Stella McCartney inked a deal with Adidas to create an activewear line and in September Alexander McQueen launched a footwear collection with Puma.
“It’s been shown in the last five years that there’s scope for partnerships like this to create new distribution channels,” said Jobson. “We’ve brought a high-end … aesthetic to sportswear.”
Treacy’s line for fall-winter includes 200 pieces ranging from fashion footwear to tailored sports jackets and performance apparel. Textiles include cashmere, silk and merino wool. Prices have not yet been confirmed, but are expected to start at about $80 for a workout top and run to about $800 for a tailored down jacket.
The collection will bow in 50 doors worldwide in July and be stocked in high-end department stores and independent fashion boutiques.
Additional collections will be introduced seasonally. The ongoing nature of the collaboration was key for Umbro, according to Jobson.
“Our intention primarily is to deliver a credible collection and then build on that later on,” he said. “We don’t want to make a huge splash. We want to build slowly and organically like we have done with Kim Jones.”
Although Jobson declined to provide any sales projections, industry sources estimate the collection could generate $2.6 million in its first year.
The project is the latest in Treacy’s move to bring diversity to his hat brand. He recently added handbags and objets d’art.