Cords Alpha Industries

Momentum continues around The Cords & Co. with the latest news out of the Swedish premium corduroy brand a first-time collaboration with Alpha Industries.

The companies put a corduroy spin on two of Alpha Industries’ military-style jackets, the MA-1 fighter pilot and N-3B parka for the four-piece capsule.

“Alpha is a brand that stands for authenticity and they’ve got such a long history and heritage, and it’s something that we really approach as a brand also — in the way that we focus our brand on the long history of corduroy,’ said Cords & Co. brand director Omar Varts. “We felt like there was some nice synergy between the two.”

The fighter pilot jacket will retail for $315, with the parka at $470. The unisex jackets go on sale Thursday and will be sold in the Cords & Co. stores and both companies’ web sites, along with The Listener in Frankfurt, Working Class Hero in the U.K., Norgaard in Denmark and Swedish department store Nordiska Kompaniet.

Alpha Industries Cords & Co.

Jackets from the limited-edition capsule by Alpha Industries and Cords & Co.  Courtesy Photo

The announcement with Alpha Industries, which got its start making military clothing in 1959, continues a fast-track rate at which Cords & Co. is looking to grow brand awareness and business on a global scale.

The company, founded last year, in August launched five flagships throughout the world in a bid to gain attention for its high-end corduroy assortment for men and women. The company’s stores are located in Paris; London; Venice, Calif., and Sweden, where there are two. Early next year, the company is set to open stores in New York and Tokyo, in addition to more collaborations, including one with Erin Wasson.

“The idea is to combine disruptive elements of the business strategy with the idea of making a maximum impact,” Varts said. “We really wanted to own corduroy from Day One. We felt like the best possible opportunity to amplify the noise in which we wanted to make was by opening multiple store locations at the same time, to open them in the major fashion capitals in the world and to give people the best representation of the brand Day One in these cities.”

Varts said the stores have been doing well and have been successful in disrupting the marketplace and turning heads. Corduroy and the company’s experimentation with different washing techniques is giving it a new story to tell the consumer that’s unique from that of denim or activewear, for example.

“With corduroy, everybody has a connection to corduroy, whether it’s my grandparents or whether it’s the young kid coming off of the street or the skate park,” he said. “What we’re finding is everybody has a story to tell. They have a connection with the fabrication. It’s that type of environment that we wanted to create – an immersive environment that speaks to the brand and references the rich history of corduroy. That’s why we’re playing with different silhouettes and experimenting with different washing techniques.”

The company makes most of its line in Turkey with additional manufacturing in Portugal, Italy and Japan.

Varts said the company will be satisfied with the store portfolio in the near term once the Japan and New York locations are in operation, but that won’t remain the ceiling.

“At this stage, we’re happy with the portfolio of stores up until the first quarter of 2018, but we’re certainly always looking to introduce the brand into a new market or a new context in the best possible way, which is via our retail environments,” Varts said. “We may catch our breath for a moment, but not for long.”

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