Icebreaker, the New Zealand company that pioneered the outdoor merino wool apparel category, announced today that Cathy Quain has joined its team as the company’s first global Vice President of Retail.
In this new leadership team position, Quain is responsible for strategically developing and directing Icebreaker’s global retail business strategy, with an emphasis on growing the brand’s own retail stores, called TouchLabs. Her initial focus will be in North America. Quain is based from Icebreaker’s US headquarters in Portland, Oregon.
“As we approach our 18th anniversary, we are committed to an aggressive global growth strategy on all fronts,” said Jeremy Moon, Founder and CEO of Icebreaker. “Cathy is the perfect person to help us take our mission of spreading the goodness of merino to the world to the next level. She is a real icebreaker, and her experience in running retail for Burton and other companies is very relevant for us. We are excited to see where she takes our brand.”
Quain comes to Icebreaker with more than 20 years of retail management experience. Most recently, she was Vice President of Marketing, Retail & E-commerce at California fashion brand Trina Turk. Prior to that, Quain was with BurtonSnowboards where, in her last position as Vice President - Direct to Consumer, she was responsible for managing its retail and ecommerce sales and direct marketing initiatives, plus opening 13 stores worldwide. She also spent seven years with Giorgio Armani,where she worked in licensing and multi-store management for retail.
“I am thrilled to be joining Icebreaker and to have the opportunity to build a world-class retail organization,” said Quain. “Icebeaker’s mission, product, and customers all inspire me, and I see enormous potential for the growth of the business in all channels. Its TouchLabs give Icebreaker a great opportunity to bring its unique brand story to life and provide a tangible retail experience to enhance what is already an amazing product experience.”
Icebreaker has already begun its TouchLab expansion plan. This fall, it will open retail locations in Chicago and Bethseda, Maryland that feature an impactful new design that brings to life the New Zealand sheep stations that supply Icebreaker’s all-natural merino wool. That new design will be taken to its existing stores over the coming months.
Icebreaker now has 17 TouchLab retail stores, including nine in North American, six Australasian, and one each in France and Switzerland. Icebreaker will be looking for more TouchLab locations in North America and Europe.
Launched in 1994, Icebreaker was the first company in the world to develop a merino wool layering system for the outdoors. It was also the first outdoor apparel company in the world to source merino directly from growers, a system it began in 1997. Icebreaker merino clothing for the outdoors, technical sports and lifestyle includes underwear, mid layer garments, outerwear, socks and accessories for men, women and children. Icebreaker is based in Wellington, New Zealand, and is sold in more than 3000 stores in 43 countries. See icebreaker.com for more information about Icebreaker, and jeremymoon.me for more information on Icebreaker founder and CEO Jeremy Moon.