August 16, 2022

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Holden’s Rebrand Garnered A 70{a38ddb2ded6b05e28c8ae73a8db0e271c21f7193684bd9e4e28acae292f81d99} Boost In Their Women’s Outerwear Business

Two snowboarders founded Holden Outerwear to fill the market gap for fashionably designed and eco-friendly apparel meant to be functional in the mountains and for your everyday life. Mike LeBlanc and Scott Zergebel founded the brand in 2002 with success in the space, but the 2008 recession caused LeBlanc and Zergebel to sell Holden in 2012 to an investment group. To the pairs surprise the group later offered to have them buy Holden back. They did just that, along with President Adam Shiffman, and set out to bring the brand into a totally new direction. The new Holden came with a total rebrand and redesign. That caused a major boost for their female outerwear business. Holden’s Womenswear makes up 70+{a38ddb2ded6b05e28c8ae73a8db0e271c21f7193684bd9e4e28acae292f81d99} of Holden’s total business and is consistently connecting with new women, who have never purchased from the brand before.

“Holden has had a strong female customer since the beginning. Our fashionable aesthetic and attention to fit, have always been key factors that cause women to have a strong connection with Holden,” says Shiffman. “As we’ve repositioned over the last few years, our women’s business has been one of the faster growing segments of our business. We attribute this to our approach to what woman want in the fashion-meets-function space, rather than the more common approach of either making mens styles smaller to fit women, or creating overly feminine designs that don’t function. Holden is authentically technical (we come from the outdoors) and our aesthetic aligns with women who live both in urban environments and the mountains,” added Zergebel.

Holden diversified their seasonal collections over the last two years. Rather than focusing only on alpine technical outerwear, they’ve really pushed the collection further into the mid-layer and contemporary fashion categories, for use both in the mountains and the city. By focusing on their expertise with down insulation and the combination of highly-technical fabrics, they’ve been able to garner an excitement from a new audience. Holden’s long standing roots and commitment to sustainability, continues to connect with the modern consumer.

While there is new growth for Holden they are still educating consumers on the fashion function portion of their business. “I think the most common misconception would be that outerwear brands only know how to make outerwear. Consumers may not realize, but outerwear (especially technical outerwear) is probably the hardest of all apparel categories to develop. We’ve been doing it for nearly two decades and have been leaders in style and eco-friendlier applications within the outdoor space since the brand was born in 2002,” says Leblanc. “Today’s traditional outdoor market space is inundated with technical outerwear brands that feels somewhat incestuous in their styling, it’s like you could slap 50 different brands logo here or there and it’s all the same jacket. We believe we can make something that works for an active lifestyle that combines fashion and function, that can also be beautiful and approachable. In the luxury snow outerwear market, we take a younger and more contemporary approach, while most of our competitors are targeting an older demographic through more traditional ski-alpine style.”

Holden will continue to evolve as a brand as they look into two things: data and consumers. “Today’s world is all about data, and our data shows that consumers want versatility in their products. They want technical-fashion that works in more than one environment and they support brands that have a purpose and tell a story. Holden will continue to stay true to who we are, as we enter a new world of retail and continue to attract new consumers,” explained Shiffman.