Industry Buzz: Star Wars, Lowa, Mountain Hardwear, Polartec,, and more

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  • If you've ever wanted to look the part of someone in Star Wars, well, Columbia Sportswear is making those dreams come true. This Friday, Columbia is releasing its new Star Wars: Empire Crew Parka, inspired by the original cast and crew in the ice planet scene of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. Jackets—which features a waterproof, breathable, seam-sealed outer layer and a removable faux-fur trim—are available while supplies last online and in select stores.
  • In other Columbia news, Troy Sicotte was appointed to serve as Vice President of Sales, North America for Mountain Hardwear. He will be based at Mountain Hardwear’s headquarters in Richmond, California, where he will develop and drive all aspects of the brand’s North America Sales.
  • After heading LOWA for more than 25 years, Werner Riethmann will gradually begin to withdraw from daily business operations next year. He will serve as a Chief Executive Officer and advise the new management team for two more years. Starting Jan. 1, Alexander Nicolai will assume leadership of the company’s operative business activities as the new Chief Executive Officer. He will directly oversee the areas of development, marketing, supply chain, production and logistics. The two other key members of LOWA’s new management team will be the authorised officers Rudolf Limmer and Matthias Wanner.
Strick Walker, Merrell

Strick Walker, CMO at Merrell

  • The Conservation Alliance board elected Strick Walker, Chief Marketing Officer at Merrell, to serve on the organization’s board of directors. Walker was elected by the board of directors to fill a vacancy left by Chaco President Seth Cobb. Though we are sad to lose Seth, we look forward to adding Strick’s energy and marketing expertise,” said John Sterling, Executive Director of The Conservation Alliance. “We are fortunate to have so many qualified and passionate people interested in serving on our board.”
  • Polartec announced its ongoing collaboration with, which includes an exclusive collection of co-developed Flylow outerwear made of Polartec NeoShell, a most breathable waterproof fabric, and Polartec educational resources and shopping functionality through the online retailer.
  • Upstart brands and innovators: is hosting The Pitch for the second time, this time at Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. Five outdoor companies will have a shot at winning more than $10,000 in promotional and consultation services. Deadline to apply is Dec. 15.