From the mountain to the city! This is currently the thrust of numerous outdoor brands that have recognized that their specific product know-how is also in demand in the urban environment. But few take this step as consistently as the traditional Swiss outdoor brand Mammut.
The outdoor scene was the first to see the results of Mammut's realignment at the last Outdoor Show in Friedrichshafen: Under the name Mammut Delta X, the brand presented a collection that transfers the know-how from mountain sports to everyday life. Mountaineering becomes "urbaneering,” which means highly functional materials and cuts with a fashion statement. The offer includes parkas, a half-zip jacket, a dress, sneakers and backpacks–about 30 styles for men and women. The colors are rather subdued and classic, quite in contrast to the mostly colorful outdoor collections. From the summer season 2019 Delta X will be in retail, and from then on Mammut's performance promise will apply not only to mountaineers but also to customers in the city.
"We've never had the approach of making a lifestyle collection," says Adrian Margelist, chief creative officer of the Mammut Sports Group who has been with the company since April 2017. That means Delta X is fashionable, but always technical. "We first clearly defined the needs for the city and then derived a collection that takes up our heritage. Only then did we develop the look and feel. Cotton shirts better make others." Coming out of fashion, where he worked as creative director for Esprit, Navyboot, MCM and most recently at Liebeskind, he has the task of giving all lines of the traditional brand a new, more modern face. But he still knows mountain sports well: as a Swiss, he grow up with the mountains, he says, and he has many mountain guides in his family. And he also has a lot of confidence in the Mammut Core segment: in the mountain sports premium line, for example, he surprises with snow-white mountain boots and backpacks–a real novelty in the outdoor market.
But Delta X is more than just another Mammut collection. Behind this is a whole marketing concept that Mammut wants to gradually roll out worldwide. The presentation now begins in July in Berlin, where athletes and fashion people, potential international customers and influencers will meet and there will be the first "clash between hipster and core,” says Margelist. The name Mammut Delta X stands for the difference in altitude between the peak of the Eiger–the local mountain of Mammut, in the middle of the Swiss Alps–and the highest mountain or point of the respective metropolis, which serves as inspiration for the season. In the summer season 2019 it is Berlin. The Teufelsberg has a difference in altitude of 3,850 meters to the Eiger. This delta, i.e. "3850,” will appear in different product names and designs. In the following winter season Beijing will be the source of inspiration and event location. Asia is generally important for Mammut, Japan alone is the third largest market for the brand, where it has had its own branch for 30 years. A design team from there also supports Delta X.
Delta X does not have to meet fixed growth figures for the time being. "We don't have to achieve double digit growth,” says the designer. Not more than 70 customers in Germany, Austria and Switzerland could sell the collection, which should retail between €59 and €899 anyway. These include sports retailers as well as fashion houses. A margin of 2.7 and four delivery dates should help to make the collection attractive for the fashion trade as well. Also in sourcing it wants to become faster to get closer to the market needs. Mammut is experimenting with customizing jackets, for example, which are produced after three to four weeks. To present the Delta X collection in a harmonious way, a shop-in-shop concept was developed which is also to be used for pop-up stores. Margelist says, "The target is two pop-up stores in the DACH region, around five to seven worldwide.” The company's own stores–currently totaling 84–will also selectively offer Delta X.
Mammut also wants to break new ground in digital terms: A new digital service called Mammut Connect has been integrated into the collection and will be launched in January 2019. Using a chip with NFC technology integrated into the product, consumers are to receive information about their products via their own smartphones and how these can be used. The service will also be used to develop an own community and feedback options as well as opportunities for cooperation with retailers. However, there will not be a connection to the Mammut webshop for the time being. Margelistnotes: "It's not about buying products, but about experiences and relevance for the customer. We want to become the digital leader in the outdoor industry." Last year alone, the IT department grew by 40 people.