Woolrich has announced a contract with an experienced design agency, n3twork, to collaborate in the development of a technical outdoor collection of outerwear, sportswear and accessories, due to be launched globally for the autumn of 2013. The company’s long-standing European partner, WP Lavori in Corso, will take care of its distribution in Europe.
The American company has also announced the appointment of a high-caliber executive, Brent Hollowell, who will act as its vice president of marketing, reporting to Brian Mangione, executive vice president of Woolrich. Hollowell joins from his own consulting and branding firm, BrandRx Marketing, founded in 2005 after working for several other companies including 180s, Adidas America and Foot Locker. Notably, he ran marketing communication and retail marketing at Adidas America, and he served as vice president of global marketing at Foot Locker.
With its offices in Frankfurt, Germany and Boulder, Colorado, n3twork would appear to be ideally positioned to develop Woolrich’s new technical outdoor range. Founded by Dennis Hinze in 1997, the German agency has won several awards for its innovative designs.
It has worked for an impressive list of brands including Colmar, Odlo, Hannah, Intersport, Salewa, Jack Wolfskin, Under Armour, The North Face, Helly Hansen, Lululemon, Spyder, Salomon, Adidas, Merrell, Bogner, North Sails, Falke and Vaude. It also designed and developed the technical apparel worn by Team Alinghi in the America’s Cup and created the Red Bull Athletes Collection.
Hinze won over a precious partner in 2009 when Peter Valles left Spyder, where he was the creative director, to launch n3twork USA and become its creative director. Prior to Spyder, Valles had been a senior advanced designer at Nike and a senior concept designer at Abercombie & Fitch.
Most recently, n3twork spent two years on the development of the private brand of Engelhorn Sports, a prominent sporting goods retailer in Germany. Sold under the name of NED Tailored Performance, it has been available since Feb. 26 in a dedicated corner of its huge 9,600-m² in Mannheim and from its web shop. The collection comprises outdoor jackets and other garments for several sports and everyday use.
The agreement with n3twork is distinct from the one that Woolrich previously announced with an agency in Vermont, Jager di Paola Kemp Design (JKD), which we discussed in the previous issue of The Compass.
That contract is for the development of a new global development strategy for the Woolrich brand, which has a strong heritage.
The Woolrich family started producing performance outdoor clothing back in 1830 in Pennsylvania, in an area that subsequently took on its name (not the other way around as is common known), but in recent years the brand has diversified into other more fashion-oriented segment, notably in Italy and the rest of Europe.