US outerwear and accessories brand Woolrich has opened its first North American flagship in New York, located in the fashionable SoHo neighbourhood.
The three-level store has been conceived as a contemporary retrospective of sorts for the heritage brand, which was established in 1830. It invites consumers to engage in its long history with archival items such as manufacturing tools and vintage garments, art created for the brand based on its legacy, as well as its collections.
On the 1,400 sq ft ground floor, antique furniture recovered from an old hardware store is used to display both new products and old artefacts, including wool production tools, catalogues and garments from the archive at Woolrich's original Pennsylvania mill.
Further amplifying the sense of stepping into the brand's history, on the first floor is a series of black-and-white photographs by Canadian photographer Douglas Kirkland – most famous for his early 1960s images of US icon Marilyn Monroe – that were shot in 2010 to commemorate Woolrich's 180th anniversary. The space also includes photographs depicting the brand's manufacturing process.
In the 500 sq ft basement, the walls are adorned with works created for the brand's Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign by Italian artist Paolo Ventura, which combine photography and painting.
Products available range from the brand's signature winter parkas – originally created for workers on the Alaskan pipeline in 1972 – to the contemporary US-made Woolrich Woolen Mills streetwear line, designed by American fashion designer Mark McNairy.
This is the first of at least five openings planned for the US over the next three years, including Boston, Seattle and Aspen.
For more examples of how brands have capitalised on their heritage, see Monetising Brand Heritage and Positive Provenance. For more on the rising consumer appetite for products made in a brand's country of origin, see The Value of 'Made In'. Regarding retailing to men, see How to Sell to Modern Men and Selling Style in our The New Masculinity Industry Trend.