WL Gore & Associates, the company behind GORE-TEX, is embarking on direct-to-consumer retail.
Over its 63-year history, the Delaware-based materials company has sold GORE-TEX, a weather-resistant fabric valued for its durability and breathability, to brands that use the material to make wear-resistant clothing. ‘water.
Recent examples include Reebok, which added GORE-TEX panels to the Instapump Fury, and Stüssy, which recently discontinued a GORE-TEX capsule collection.
Now, WL Gore & Associates will for the first time sell direct to buyers via Viev, a new clothing brand that will specialize in GORE-TEX outerwear.
Short for “Variation in Everything”, Viev is named after Geneviève Gore, who founded WL Gore & Associates with her husband, Bill, in 1958. Eleven years later, Gore’s son, Bob, invented GORE-TEX.
Viev launched on October 21 with a flagship product, the Gemma Jacket, built with a GORE-TEX shell and PrimaLoft insulated interior. Interestingly, the piece – which costs $ 1,300 – is only available in women’s sizes.
“It’s not just a jacket,” reads a description of the garment. “It’s warmth in a white veil, shelter from a downpour and an invisibility cloak stealthily unfurling among a crowd.”
According to WWD, Viev plans to launch a wider range of products later this year. Menswear will launch in 2022.
DTC’s business models flourished during the pandemic, with the closure of many physical stores and the necessary boom in e-commerce.
A testament to the success of sales without third parties: DTC glasses giant Warby Parker has gone public in September, and the trendy underwear brand DTC The parade raised $ 20 million in a Series B round of funding in October.
Viev could very well occupy a distinct place in the DTC landscape, given the enduring popularity of GORE-TEX.
That said, it remains unclear whether WL Gore & Associates will still sell GORE-TEX to trendy brands such as adidas, Converse and OFF-WHITE ™, collaborations that have helped bolster its image in the retail sphere. fashion.
By opting for DTC, the company appears to be avoiding the hype in favor of more control over its product and messaging.