Arc’teryx Veilance: form follows function

Arc’teryx Veilance garments draw attention in everyday urban environments as well as international fashion trade shows. The sleek and technical products are designed like architecture: form follows function. The next step is to become the leading progressive design brand in the world.

In spite of jet lag, Anna Dimov and Taka Kasuga are happy and excited. Both have just returned from Europe where they showcased Arc’teryx Veilance at Pitti Uomo in Florence and Paris Men’s Fashion Week. And yes, Arc’teryx Veilance Fall 18 product line was a smash hit at both shows.

“Pitti is one of the most premium fashion trade shows. Being there was incredible. People knew us and were interested in us”, says Taka Kasuga. Born in Japan, the designer has worked as Arc’teryx Veilance Design Director since 2015.

Anna Dimov, the Sales Director of Arc’teryx Veilance, has her professional roots in high-end fashion brands and the luxury goods sector.

“Pitti Uomo is a big draw for international buyers from all parts of the world. We had several scheduled appointments with retailers who in total wrote over 25% more orders than previous year. In addition to our scheduled meetings, we also captured a lot of new buyer leads as well as made some new contacts from the press”, Dimov sums up.

Right before Pitti Uomo, Arc’teryx Veilance got some extra boost from The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper published an article with the headline “Stylish Coats That Get You to Work Even in a Bomb Cyclone”. The article apparently had an effect:

“Our own e-commerce site had its highest sales trading days following that release. In fact, four of the all-time top ten days came immediately following the WSJ publication”, tells Dimov.

Design like good architecture

In 2019, Arc’teryx Veilance will celebrate its 10th anniversary. The original idea was to create premium lifestyle garments for the urban environment and combine refined urban aesthetic with the highest performance.

The basic idea has remained pretty much the same. Here´s what the brand stands for today:

“Arc’teryx Veilance is the lifestyle collection of the progressive man. It uses the same technologies and materials as the outdoor collection but applies them to urban aesthetics. A given urban setting offers a myriad of activities and conditions. Our goal with Arc’teryx Veilance is to create a system that advances personal freedom, allowing a seamless connection between the individual, environment, and action”, says Dimov.

Arc’teryx Veilance is also a progressive design idea.

“Our design is like good architecture. It is not about using technical features as decoration. It is about the minimalist design where form follows function. Applying technology in everyday life in a beautiful way is our goal”, says Kasuga.

Leader in cultural shift

Back in 2009, Arc’teryx Veilance was pretty much alone in the premium market.

“Arc’teryx Veilance took the leading role in the cultural shift towards performance wear in everyday life. It is much more than a style trend, and right now there is a merge happening between the fashion and outdoor industries. Arc’teryx Veilance product offering is the perfect solution for the crossroads of those two trends”, says Kasuga. He is very confident that Arc’teryx Veilance will maintain its leading position.

“Consumers really appreciate the Arc’teryx Veilance brand value and proposition. Arc’teryx Veilance is also positioned to continue to ride the growth wave as its product categories continue to evolve, align with market trends and is getting more and more consumer exposure.” Says Dimov.

The goal is to acquire more closet share from the competition.

“We are on trend and keeping ahead, but to reach the tipping point, we need to further develop our distribution channels with a focus on D2C (Direct to Consumer). We need to keep investing in production to further build the collection. And we need to scale awareness because we know our product creates brand fans.”

The desire for quality

Arc’teryx Veilance is a real premium brand, and it has to be marketed accordingly, says Dimov.

“Our collection is primarily targeted for consumers seeking the best quality in design and manufacturing. Each garment is an investment piece, with perfected patternmaking and minimal branding; its best features are not loud. It requires knowledgeable salespeople, inspiring communication and, most importantly, the experience of trying and testing the product directly on the body.”

“What we have learned is that the garments are so well made that they sell themselves once they are on the body. It looks very different when somebody actually tries it on. We sell it very much like other premium products”, Dimov sums up.

“To give an impression of our product and manufacturing points of difference to those who can’t try the garments onphysically, we are experimenting a variety of communication tactics. A recent example is our latest collaboration with the German Street Fashion blog HighSnobiety: Exploring Performance and Evolution with Arc’teryx Veilance.”

For early adopters

Dimov calls the core target of Arc’teryx Veilance products “urban astute consumers”.

“They are early adopters looking for pinnacle design with integrity. They are confident to experiment with their style but always seek authentic, lasting products.”

Arc’teryx Veilance has already achieved cult status within this core sub-segment of the premium urban lifestyle market. The audience is getting broader.

“Our collection is well received by a discerning crowd and this is an element of pride. People are going out of their way to comment how much they love our products. It is very positive and so our goals are focused on increasing brand awareness and positive product experiences to generate advocacy.”

Advocates are needed because Arc’teryx has big plans for Arc’teryx Veilance.

“We believe that we can become the world’s leading progressive design brand. We are looking to build a complete system beyond apparel: footwear, packs, accessories and a women’s capsule collection in the next few years”, says Kasuga.

The market is shifting

According to several business reports online, there has been significant market share growth over the past several years for premium down jackets as well as growth within the performance sportswear market.

Between 2009 and 2016, the luxury down jackets sector grew from EUR 500 million to  EUR 2 billion at a compounded annual growth rate of 22 percent, according to a report from the Boston Consulting Group and Fondazione Altagamma: Could Moncler’s Outerwear Reign Be Coming to an End?

According to Euromonitor, the global luxury outerwear market hit USD 11 billion last year, up from  USD 8.75 billion in 2011.

Is Luxury Outerwear the Next ‘It’ Category?

According to a research report published by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., the global market for Sports and Fitness Clothing is projected to reach USD 231.7 billion by 2024. Growth in the market is driven by a growing portion of the population living healthier lifestyles and stronger participation in sports and fitness activities.

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