Technical Performance Meets Streetwear

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AthleticReconAthletic Recon is a relatively new brand combining street fashion and technical athletic apparel for everyone from endurance athletes to city gym dwellers. Founder Ryan Heuser was unsatisfied with conventional products, feeling that they either lacked functionality or style, so he set out to do it better himself. Athletic Recon's product offerings include tops and bottoms, training shorts, technical outerwear and pre and post workout pieces. The brand sells to boutiques, high-end street and skate shops, independent running stores, gyms that specialize in training gear and outdoor specialty retailers.

Rubbermaid Dips Into the Outdoor Industry With Ignite Holdings Purchase

on . Posted in Products and Technology

ContigoAvexrubbermaidWaterBottleGiant plastics manufacture Newell Rubbermaid, which manufactures everything from plastic storage sheds and medical carts to coolers and resealable food containers, is getting into the outdoors and performance sports with the purchase of Ignite Holdings, LLC. Ignite Holdings makes the Avex line of drinking containers.

“Our Ignite team is working closely with our new partners at Newell Rubbermaid to ensure that everyone we do business with, from suppliers, to retailers, to consumers, will continue to experience the level excellence they have come to expect from the AVEX brand,” said Sami El-Saden, CEO of Ignite.

Rubbermaid Chief Development Officer Mark Tarchetti said Ignite’s focus on design, product performance and innovation meshed with Rubbermaid’s growth strategy. “We intend to invest in and wholly support this business to build on Ignite’s — and AVEX’s — current strong momentum, expanding product lines, channels of distribution, and geographic footprint over time,” he added.

A Tax Break for Exercise!

on . Posted in Policy

congressThe Physical Activity Tax Incentive (PHIT Act) wants to change the IRS definition of a “medical expense” to include physical activity as a form of prevention, which would make those expenses reimbursable using pre-tax dollars in Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. Consumers could deduct physical activity costs once they meet the 7.5 percent of income threshold. Eligible expenses would include fitness equipment, gym memberships, exercise classes, etc. The Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation reported that Americans would invest $2.5 billion over 10 years if PHIT was passed.

Big Promotions at Timberland

on . Posted in People

Stewart WhitneyTimberland announced that Stewart Whitney will become the brand president as of Oct. 5, 2014. Timberland, a VF Corp. brand, has been led by Patrik Frisk, however he was promoted to coalition president of Outdoor Americas of VF in April 2014.

Whitney has served as vice president and managing director for the Timberland and Napapijri brands in Asia since 2008. VF Corp. said that during Whitney’s tenure in the position the brands’ business in Asia more than doubled.

John Gearing, who joined VF’s Asia Pacific business in 2011, will assume Whitney’s former role. He has served as vice president and managing director, direct to consumer and multi-channel development. In addition, Lisa Demarkis, global vice president of footwear at Timberland, is assuming the role global vice president of product and Chris Pawlus, senior global creative director was promoted to vice president, global product creative director. Jeff Thompson, vice president of global footwear product development, was promoted to vice president of footwear.

Mountainsmith Goes Back to the Dogs With Veterinarian

on . Posted in Products and Technology

Mountainsmith K9 Pack LG MainWho knows dogs better than those who take care of them the most. Perhaps that’s why Mountainsmith consulted with Veterinarian Robin Starr, to redesign its 2015 canine saddle bags. Starr was a small animal practitioner for 20 years in Colorado and, until recently retiring, led a shelter rescue organization that helped train dogs to assist people with mobility impairments.

"I was thrilled when Mountainsmith asked me to assist with the 2015 K-9 Pack redesign program,” Starr said in a statement. "Dogs come in all shapes and sizes and have different athletic abilities. After working with service dogs, which wear their backpack or harness most all day, every day, I saw room for improvement in the current dog packs on the market.”

Itochu to Launch Gramicci Footwear in Japan

on . Posted in Vendors

Gramicci Footwear ItochuIn January 2015 Itochu Corp. will launch a line of Gramicci footwear in Japan through a sublicensing agreement with the California-based outdoor apparel brand. The new Japanese footwear collection will include urban-designed shoes that can cross over into the outdoors and are targeted toward men and women in their 20s and 30s.
The shoes will feature Vibram EcoStep soles that contain up to 30 percent scrap materials that were produced in the manufacturing process. The shoe cases will also use recycled raw materials.

Northside Steps Up With Growth

on . Posted in Vendors

Jack WolfinOutdoor footwear brand Northside, owned by Triple T Trading, is seeing strong growth across all its product lines, including successful trail and sports offerings. The company said that its sales grew more than 50 percent in 2014 and that it experienced similar growth last year, too. Looking ahead the company is projecting slower but continual growth in 2015, anticipating 30 percent more sales in 2015.