Corporate goes Premium: premium outdoor brands conquer corporate fashion

Regina Henkel

Published on 28.05.2020

On the US market corporate fashion collections are bread-and-butter business for many sports brands ranging from The North Face to Patagonia: many brands customise their products for companies big and small with the aim of securing additional sales revenue beyond conventional retail.

In Europe clubs, tour operators and even hotels are supplied with sports collections but most of these brands do not get involved in the corporate business on an industrial scale. This seems to be changing now. The Canadian premium outdoor supplier Arc’teryx, in particular, has put in place its own sales organisation for the corporate segment and took part for the second time now at the latest edition of PromoTex Expo in January. “The US market is, of course, substantially bigger and therefore requires a big sales team per se, but we are definitely also observing a growing interest in our brand for the corporate segment in Europe,” says Josh Banks, Manager B2X Corporate Sales at Arc’teryx.

With price points of over EUR 700 for jackets Arc’teryx is in the premium segment of the outdoor industry and among the innovation leaders. This brand from Vancouver has developed numerous technical innovations that set new standards for the industry. The minimalist design and striking logo featuring an archaeopteryx skeleton enjoy high recognition levels and have already received multiple awards. Even high-calibre design icons like Virgil Abloh have admitted to being Arc’teryx fans. This also goes down well with corporate clients. “Many premium brands from other segments are looking for corporate wear “counterparts”. They dislike cheap cotton shirts and want to strike a balance between their own brand and the apparel. Or they want to upgrade their own brand,” adds Banks. The Canadian already counts major German automotive manufacturers among his customers.

As a premium supplier, however, Arc’teryx not only has its sights on new sales channels. The high-end desirability of the brand requires us to pay a lot of attention to who purchases the product. Explaining Banks says: “We also have to have an eye on the grey market and not lose control of the brand.”

The Corporate Collection comprises regular products for the season also in terms of colours. Those wanting their own colours, need high volumes. The premium products are produced by Art’teryx at its own factory in Vancouver, while other pieces come from international suppliers. Due to the high-tech fabrics used customisation with prints, logos and embroidery requires plenty of technical know-how. Embroidery, for example, makes little sense on water-proof outdoor jackets. It always has to be additionally laminated so as not to endanger the functionality of the jacket.

Photos: Arc’teryx / corporate.arcteryx.com