Cloudveil to reveal restructured management, new product at Outdoor Retailer

Cloudveil officials told SNEWS the past few years have not been the brand's finest. At Outdoor Retailer Winter Market, the company will reveal a new management team and new products for fall 2012, aiming to win back retailers.
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Cloudveil will present a restructured management team and a new fall 2012 product lineup at Outdoor Retailer Winter Market (Jan. 19-22, 2012), following several turbulent years for the outdoor apparel brand.

Windsong Brands, which purchased Cloudveil in February 2010 from Spyder Active Sports, will continue to own the brand, while revealing the promotion of one of its partners in that deal, Rockhopper Group, to take over most of the Cloudveil’s operations.

Rockhopper, which has been handling Cloudveil’s direct-to-consumer, e-commerce and pro-purchase program, now heads up the brand’s design and wholesale distribution. Those latter duties, along with production, were previously licensed to manufacturer Free Country Outerwear.

With the restructure, Cloudveil named Chaz Bertrand as president, Jay Niles as chief operating officer, Bill Lynn as marketing director and Piers Thomas as design director — all of whom are partners with Rockhopper. Jim Reilly remains as Cloudveil’s CEO.

Lynn said the previous license deal with Free Country did not fare well for Cloudveil.

“A lot of dealers didn’t get any product, some got half … for a lot of them, it wasn’t a pleasant experience,” Lynn said. “When we took over 16 months ago, we had almost no time to put together a fall ’11 line. No design work had really been done. So the goal was to focus on fall ’12.”

Cloudveil hired a new design team led by Thomas, formerly with Patagonia, and Jil Green, one of Cloudveil’s first designers when it was founded in 1997 by Stephen Sullivan. Green works out of Alta, Wyo., about 45 minutes from Cloudveil’s original home of Jackson, and management is considering opening a design and product development office there once again. Cloudveil employs about 15 people at its headquarters in Marblehead, Mass.

At Winter Market, Cloudveil will show 75 men’s and women’s styles with an emphasis on outerwear pieces such as waterproof/breathable shells, down and synthetic insulation jackets, and soft shells. It will also debut a new base layer made from a polyester/bamboo charcoal blend.

Cloudveil has partnered with Polartec on a number of its products, Lynn said, including using Polartec’s NeoShell waterproof/breathable fabric for the new Cloudveil Cody Peak jacket (MSRP $550) and pant (MSRP $450) combo.

“There’s been a lot of uncertainty about the brand, and we admit it wasn’t the finest hour for Cloudveil,” Lynn said. “We’re here to prove to retailers that we can come out with a great product again. We can’t just tell them. We have to show them.”

--David Clucas

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