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Luxury Outerwear Goes Fashion-Forward With New Brand Partnerships

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High-end outerwear is serving its purpose beyond cold weather, as designer collaborations provide the category with a more fashion-oriented aesthetic.

Today, the prevalence of high-fashion brands is prompting consumers to have a trendier, seasonless wardrobe. Consumers want apparel that resonates with their busy lifestyles and provides advanced functional capabilities.

While U.S. outerwear imports recovered in 2017, the category has also sought out other business opportunities, including working with renowned designers. These collaborations have enabled outerwear brands to be more fashion-forward and relevant amid retail’s uncertainty.

From The North Face’s partnership with Sacai to Moncler and Greg Lauren’s collection, here’s how outerwear companies and designers are coming together to elevate cold weather wear.

The North Face

Named after the coldest side of a mountain, The North Face has shielded consumers from unforgivable winter climates over the past 41 years. However, earlier this year, the outerwear brand joined forces with Japan-based label, Sacai, for a stylish Fall/Winter ’17 collection.

“I’ve always been inspired by the idea of performance brands,” Sacai founder Chitose Abe said in a Business of Fashion interview. “The North Face is a perfect example…I’ve worn their coats myself. It’s a very pure brand—the function is never compromised by the design but is always an integral part of it.”

Initially debuted at Sacai’s Autumn/Winter 2017 menswear show in Paris, the 17-piece collection is a hybrid between The North Face’s advanced performance fabrics and Sacai’s classic look. Notable pieces included black-and-white padded puffa coats, fur-trimmed caps and dark trench coats. Consumers will be able to buy the pieces at high-end retailers, including New York based- Dover Street Market, this Fall.

[Read More on outerwear: Fabric Innovation Helps Outerwear Weather the Retail Storm]

Moncler

Known for its high-quality down jackets, Moncler has been an outerwear staple among consumers worldwide for more than 50 years. Recently, the France-based outerwear company tapped U.S. designer Greg Lauren to co-create a Fall/Winter ’17-18 collection, which debuted this March in Paris.

“Greg Lauren is first and foremost an artist, but also a designer who experiments with new languages. And it is this art of mixing things that led me to work with him,” Moncler CEO Remo Ruffini said. “I wanted the iconic style of Moncler to be mixed with something else, almost as if to reveal a new identity.”

Dubbed “Collide,” the collection features denim garment fragments and other worn fabrics that are incorporated into puffer jackets. Lauren’s collaboration with Moncler highlights his sustainable, yet iconic touch for menswear and womenswear. The collection also nods to Moncler’s heritage and staple jackets, including the Bady Maya and Moka editions.

Collide contains approximately 200 pieces and comes in Moncler’s signature colors, including two-tone flame red and light blue, black and military green. Consumers can buy the collection’s items at department stores, Moncler boutiques and moncler.com.

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