Even classic outdoor brands want to profit from the current outdoor boom in fashion and lifestyle. Brands like Mammut take a chance in Berlin as outdoor continues to trend.
A brand debuted at July's Berlin Fashion Week that one would have never expected there a few months ago: Mammut. The Swiss outdoor brand presented its new line, Mammut Delta X. So far, the brand stood for "Absolute Alpine" and thus for everything to do with mountain sports. Fashion is generally considered suspicious by outdoor people: too much appearance, too little reality. Too little form follows function when it comes to maximum performance with minimal weight. With the new Delta X collection, the heritage brand launches into a new adventure: the fashion market. With over 600 guests, the launch was celebrated at the beginning of the month until late in the night. The elaborate introduction of the new collection makes it clear: Mammut is serious about Delta X.
Mountaineering becomes urbaneering
Called Mammut Delta X, the brand presents a collection that transfers know-how from mountain sports to everyday life. Mountaineering becomes "urbaneering", i.e. highly functional materials and tailoring with a fashion statement. The name Mammut Delta X, by the way, refers to the height difference between the top of the Eiger - Mammut’s local mountain, right in the middle of the Swiss Alps - and the highest mountain or point of the respective metropolis that serves as the inspiration for the season. "For the summer season 2019, it is Berlin, that's why the launch event took place there," said Adrian Margelist, chief creative officer of the Mammut Sports Group who has been with the company since April 2017. "The height difference of the Teufelsberg there to the Eiger is 3,850 meters. This delta, i.e., 3850, will appear in different product names and designs." The collection for men and women includes parkas, a half-zip jacket, a dress, sneakers and backpacks, about 30 styles in total. The colors are subtle, quite unlike the mostly colourful outdoor collections. From summer 2019, Delta X will be available in selected retail stores.
Lifestyle with function
Margelist has a collection for everyday urban life in mind, but no lifestyle collection with cotton pants and shirts. "We never had that approach, that we wanted to make a lifestyle collection. Delta X is fashionable, but always technical as well." First, the company analysed the needs of consumers in the city and developed products out of it that utilise Mammut’s technical know-how but implemented it in a fashionable way. Margelist’s background is fashion; the Swiss native has worked, among other positions, as creative Director for Esprit, Navyboot, MCM and, most recently, at Liebeskind. The new collection for Mammut is a matter of the heart for Margelist who has many mountain guides in the family and knows the outdoor world as well as the fashion industry.
That Delta X will need time to find its target audience is clear to everyone at Mammut. For now, the collection does not have to meet big growth rates and no fixed number of retailers. Sales will be selective. With retail prices between 59 and 899 euros, the number of potential dealers is limited anyway. Specialised sports retailers are supposed to carry the collection as well as fashion houses. After Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Asia is Mammut’s focus region, where awareness of the outdoor brand reaches up to 90 percent. With a branch in Japan, Mammut already has a dense retail network there. To present the Delta X collection in a harmonious way, a shop-in-shop concept was developed, which will also be used for pop-up stores. "The goal is two pop-up stores in the region - Germany, Austria and Switzerland - and worldwide about five to seven," says Margelist. Selectively, Mammut’s own stores - currently 84 - will also offer Delta X.
New marketing solutions
There is also a new marketing concept supporting Delta X that Mammut will gradually roll out worldwide. Berlin was just the beginning, and in the upcoming winter season, Beijing is supposed to be a source of inspiration and an event location. Digitally, too, Mammut wants to break new ground: A new digital service called Mammut Connect has been integrated into the collection, due to launch in January 2019. Via a chip with NFC technology integrated into the product, consumers will receive information about Mammut products via their own smartphones. Part of the service will be dedicated community and feedback options in the future as well as opportunities for retail corporations.
Originally published on FashionUnited DE; translated and edited by Simone Preuss