Backstory: Global warming hasn’t been kind to the outerwear business over the past few years. But the New York-based label has found an innovative way to breathe new life into the category. President Jack Wu said Rainforest has spent the last year creating a new cold weather technology called Heat System. Two of the company’s lightweight coats are being fitted with a power pack that connects to three panels on the interior of the chest and upper back. The pack is connected to a built-in button just inside the front zipper of the coat that allows the user to activate one of three temperature settings. Red will heat the coat to 120 degrees, white 110 and blue 100. The USB battery, which is rechargeable, can last two to six hours, depending on the temperature setting. Wu said the battery can also charge a cell phone and serve as a flashlight.
Distribution: The Heat System coats, available in two men’s styles, are being sold at Saks Fifth Avenue for fall.
Price points: A quilted coat with a mockneck, button cuffs and dual back vents in nylon and leather retails for $495. A two-piece model with a removable vest is $575.
Bonus: Rainforest and Saks have agreed to donate 10 percent of the sales from all Rainforest products during the month of November to Project ALS, a charity dedicated to curing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.