From New Zealand to New York: Icebreaker to Open Flagship Retail Store in SoHo Neighborhood

Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, today announced it will open its first store in Manhattan in early December 2010.
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Wellington, New Zealand – Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, today announced it will open its first store in Manhattan in early December 2010. The 2,500-square-foot SoHo store will be Icebreaker’s flagship, and located at 102 Wooster Street, between Spring and Prince Streets, across the street from Patagonia’s SoHo store.

Natural, sustainably produced Icebreaker merino regulates body temperature in all climates, is highly breathable to prevent the clamminess associated with synthetics, and protects the wearer from the sun’s harmful rays. It’s also “no stink” -- also resisting odour and wearable for days – sometimes weeks – without washing.

The new TOUCH_LAB retail store will showcase the complete Icebreaker line from its Outdoor, Running, Cycling, Travel, Kids, Underwear and City collections, all made from handpicked merino wool born in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

“More and more New Yorkers will soon discover Icebreaker’s miracle fibre from New Zealand,” said Jeremy Moon, Icebreaker’s founder and CEO. “Our TOUCH_LAB will allow us to showcase our freshest designs with savvy SoHo residents who are known connoisseurs of top-quality apparel.” Moon added that New York City was chosen for Icebreaker’s flagship store because of the rapid adoption of Icebreaker by New Yorkers through company’s online business and retailers Paragon and Eastern Mountain Sports.

The neighborhood is home to a high concentration of healthy, fit shoppers that match Icebreaker’s target demographic. These shoppers are known for being early adopters and setting trends. Icebreaker was also attracted to the neighborhood since there are a number of other outdoor retailers with stores in the area including Patagonia and The North Face, and Eastern Mountain Sports and REI (opening its New York flagship store in fall, 2011), both of which also sell Icebreaker. Architects for the Icebreaker SoHo Touch_Lab store are Adrian Nancekivell from Adrian Nancekivell Design, Auckland, New Zealand with Joseph Tarella from SawickiTarella Architecture & Design NYC.

The SoHo store will be the company’s sixth TOUCH_LAB. Icebreaker has two TOUCH_LAB stores in North America, one in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, and the other in Portland, Oregon, also the location of Icebreaker’s U.S. headquarters.

Icebreaker Clothing

Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino fibre layering system for the outdoors, starting with its Bodyfit baselayer, ideal for New York winters. There are now 25 to 30 distinct pure merino fabrics in the Icebreaker system, covering underwear, mid layer, and outerwear.

This fall, Icebreaker is introducing Realfleece, a premium natural alternative to a synthetic fleece (made from oil) for men and women. Unlike synthetics, Icebreaker Realfleece is stylish and sophisticated and can be worn on the mountain as well as on the town.

Icebreaker is sold in more than 2,000 stores in 37 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Australasia and North America. Based in Wellington, New Zealand, Icebreaker uses only pure merino hand-picked from 140 high country stations in the country's Southern Alps to create edgy outdoor clothing that combines nature's work with human technology and design.

Ethical Commitment

The company was the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. Icebreaker is committed to sustainability, ethical manufacturing and animal welfare. In 2008, the company launched “Icebreaker Baacode,” a pioneering supply chain transparency and traceability program. Each Icebreaker includes a unique Baacode, which enables customers to trace the garment online from rearing the sheep through to each stage of the supply chain process.

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