Tommy Bahama is introducing a new category of product for Father’s Day and has turned to Cocona 37.5 Technology to power it.
The technology uses active particles to capture and release moisture vapor to maintain optimum temperature and relative humidity in the body. This results in better maintaining an ideal core temperature while increasing comfort and enhancing performance.
Up until now, the vast majority of the products that have used 37.5 technology have been activewear or outerwear brands. But Tommy Bahama has created a yarn that blends silk and 37.5 and will introduce it in its camp shirts.
Bradley O’Brien, executive vice president of design and product development for the Seattle-based manufacturer, said Island Zone was “largely driven by 37.5. We believe that adding technology in our iconic products is a whole new way to get someone to buy something new.”
While the concept will launch with camp shirts, Tommy Bahama will offer Island Zone polos for holiday and shorts, which will blend 37.5 yarns with cotton, for spring 2017.
“We’re building a whole lifestyle of product around it,” she said.
In addition to the 37.5 product, Tommy Bahama will also offer hybrid board shorts, rash guards and wicking polo shirts under the Island Zone tag for Father’s Day. Everything in the new category has some sort of technical feature, such as UPF protection, moisture wicking or other qualities that will be called out on the hang tags.
She said Island Zone will only be offered in men’s for now. “We need to get our women’s more established first,” she said. “And men are more technically savvy and like these kinds of things.”
The 37.5 camp shirts will sell for $10 more than the regular silk-only models, she said. “It’s a nominal difference.”
O’Brien expects that the new shirts will be popular with Tommy Bahama’s core customer. “Internally and with our wholesale accounts, they’ve been really well-received,” she said. “We think it’s going to have legs.”
Tommy Bahama is not the only apparel brand to use 37.5 technology in sportswear. Victorinox and RVCA are also building collections around the fiber, according to Scott Branscum, executive vice president of sales, merchandising and marketing at Cocona 37.5.
“The technology was grounded and birthed in the outerwear and active industries,” he said. But with Tommy Bahama launching it in the casual sportswear part of the market, it opens up a lot more doors. “We think it’ll be a very large portion of the business over the next three to five years,” he said.
Branscum said 37.5 has a fiber-to-fixture program where it works with manufacturers and retailers to explain the properties of the fiber that can be then passed along to consumers.
“It’s a naturally derived product and because it’s made from coconut shells and volcanic sand, it couldn’t be more brand-right for Tommy Bahama,” said Christy Raedeke, vice president of global brand at 37.5.