Hoka is doubling down on its dedication to interrupt into the attire area and has employed Evie Moe, a veteran of the efficiency attire trade, as its new senior director of attire, the place she’s going to oversee each product and design.
Moe has greater than 20 years of expertise within the area, beginning her profession at Nike Swim designing for Olympic athletes, transferring to Lucy Activewear after which spending eight years at New Balance as attire design director. Most just lately she was vp of design at Cotopaxi engaged on that model’s attire and packs.
Last March, simply because the pandemic was kicking into excessive gear, Hoka launched its first full attire assortment. The model, greatest recognized for its extremely cushioned trainers, had dabbled in attire earlier than that by partnering with different labels reminiscent of Oiselle. But this marked its first full stand-alone assortment.
Gretchen Weimer, international vp of product for Hoka, admitted that the timing wasn’t excellent. “We launched apparel just as the pandemic started so it was a slower start than anticipated; however, we also launched a consumer catalogue at the same time so we showed up in people’s homes and that helped with awareness.”
Because of the timing of the launch, Weimer admitted that preliminary gross sales have been lower than plan. “It was not what we had hoped for given the timeframe, but we experienced a significant uptick in footwear as people headed outdoors,” she mentioned.
The bestselling objects within the attire vary have been what Weimer known as “core running style shorts and tech Ts,” together with outerwear that “did really well” final fall.
At this level, the attire enterprise continues to be “relatively small” for Hoka, she mentioned, “but we are building out a team with high hopes for the future. Evie brings a wealth of experience in performance apparel, she’s an accomplished designer and a strong leader. I believe she will build an amazing team and set a vision for the product that sets us up for success.”
Moe mentioned it was throughout her time at New Balance that she first found the model. When she moved to Park City, Utah, two years in the past she began to embrace the outside, an exercise she engaged in much more in the course of the pandemic.
“I had a few pairs of Hokas and loved the footwear so I became a very devoted fan of the brand,” she mentioned, although it prompted a little bit of a difficulty together with her husband, who nonetheless works for New Balance. “What they promise really comes through.”
In addition to the consolation and efficiency of the footwear, Moe mentioned she admired Hoka’s “inclusivity and approachability.” The model appeals to each hardcore athletes in addition to newcomers to the game.
In her new position, Moe mentioned she hopes to construct on those self same missions with the attire.
And just like the footwear, which has damaged out of the efficiency area to turn into well-liked with the style and way of life crowd, Moe plans to supply clothes choices that match the identical invoice.
“Hoka is known for doing something completely different in footwear,” she mentioned. “They were very disruptive when they started.” And the truth that the model was in a position to soar into way of life product as properly exhibits its potential to “appeal to both the athlete and the everyday person.” She hopes the attire — which she mentioned will likely be “super comfortable, lightweight and cool” — may even converse to each ends of the spectrum.
Moe mentioned she views design as a key ingredient to Hoka’s future success. “It’s all about creating really amazing product inspired by and for consumers that is so incredible it becomes their favorite thing.”
Hoka One One — pronounced O-nay O-nay, a Maori phrase meaning “fly over the earth” — was based in 2009 by Nicolas “Nico” Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, two French ultra-runners who have been sad with the choices out there at the moment within the operating shoe market and have been looking for another that will assist them run downhill comfortably after racing up mountains. It was acquired by Deckers Brands in 2013. While nonetheless comparatively small in opposition to opponents like Nike or Adidas, the model has skilled monumental success of late, reporting in May that gross sales within the fourth quarter ended March 31 had elevated 74.2 p.c to $177.5 million, and for the yr, rose 62 p.c to $571 million. The firm mentioned on its earnings calls in May that it expects Hoka to hit $800 million in gross sales this yr and ultimately develop “beyond $1 billion in revenue” globally.