TORONTO — Buoyed by worldwide growth, a debut this fall at Harrods and the upcoming launch of a new web site, Canadian brand Moose Knuckles is continuing the push to transform itself from outerwear maker to lifestyle brand.
Launched in 2007, the manufacturer of premium down-filled coats launched in the U.S. at the end of 2015 via Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, Revolve and Paragon. Now, “our global retail footprint is expanding,” said Jamee King, Moose Knuckles’ senior vice president of sales.
“Over the past three years Moose Knuckles has grown 600 percent and 40 percent of the company’s sales are outside of North America. Now our biggest market is in Europe and Asia,” King said.
The expansion has seen Moose Knuckles being carried by high-end international retailers including Luisa Via Roma in Florence, Moscow’s TsUM, and, now, Harrods, where the brand will debut in October.
“When Harrods approached us, we wanted to deliver a creative experience for them,” said Ayal Twik, Moose Knuckles’ chief executive officer.
That included more customization and small runs on items. “All this adds an aura to the brand,” added Twik.
Moose Knuckles will launch two premium men’s bomber coats exclusive to Harrods on Oct. 1, which will feature stitching depicting the retailer’s name, unique colors, rib-knit trims, gold-finish YKK zippers, fox-fur hood trims and Moose Knuckles’ gold-plated logo.
Greater customization will also become available in North America, as Moose Knuckles rolls out in-store events to give Millennial shoppers the chance to choose trims, shoulder badges and other details to personalize the coat.
“We’re thinking outside the box as we move forward,” said Moose Knuckles’ creative director Steph Hoff. “There are other quality goods out there. But our attitude is different. We’re not pretentious. And though we do deliver premium fashion gear we do it in a way that’s relatable, fun, authentic and inclusive.”
Moving forward, Moose Knuckles will also shift from outerwear maker to lifestyle brand, in the same way competitors such as Moncler and Canada Goose have done. As part of that transition Moose Knuckle will introduce knitwear this fall, including hats, gloves and other cold weather accessories. The company will add further new categories in 2017. “That includes adding more fun elements to our coats and expanding our kid’s program,” said Twik.
Finally, as part of its efforts to distinguish the brand on social media, Moose Knuckles will feature emerging Canadian comedian K Trevor Wilson as its Twitter content writer. The brand’s new web site, which debuts this fall, will also offer the same kind of tongue-in-cheek content that has raised eyebrows in the past, as was the case when a 2012 post debuted depicting the fictional Quebec terrorist group FUQ.
“It’s all ridiculous, but this kind of raw humor animates our brand and makes it unique,” said Hoff. “Each time you visit the web site you’ll see our ‘Sunshine Girl’, which is our modern take on the classic pin-up girl.”
Other features include a monthly series showcasing Instagram-sourced artists, musicians and culture stars; a “Cock Tails” section featuring bartenders and their recipes, and Moose Knuckles’ take on the tacky Canadian gift shop, replete with bacon-infused syrup, wild books on taxidermy and tasteless Eighties nude playing cards.
Moose Knuckles even offers its web visitors some playful nudity. “It’s a funny reward,” said Hoff. “You’ve got to search long and hard to find it on the web site. But we want viewers to come back often and enjoy what we believe will be a unique experience.”