Sep 12, 2014
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Icebreaker hires Brian Mecham as US general manager

Sep 12, 2014

Icebreaker has announced the appointment of Brian Mecham as US general manager. He succeeds the New Zealander Lisa Anderson, who "was one of the brand’s first employees" and who has worked for the past 5 years on developing the brand on the American market. She will now return to New Zealand.

Icebreaker, which specializes in functional merino wool apparel, has been hiring more and more executives with outdoors experience in order to boost its growth.

Brian Mecham, for instance, worked for about a decade overseeing US wholesale at Patagonia before joining Black Diamond as head of sales for North America. Since 2013, he has served as vice president in charge of sales for Black Diamond. He will now be based in Portland, where the headquarters of Icebreaker’s US subsidiary is located.

This is the New Zealand company’s second hire within a short period of time. In August, the brand announced the nomination of Peter Ottervanger, who previously served as vice president of Sole Technology Europe (the brands Etnies, Emerica Altamont and ThirtyTwo), as general manager Europe.

During the last edition of the trade show Outdoor Friedrichshafen, Rob Fyve said that the company aimed to double sales within 5 years. In 2014, sales should reach about 140 million euros, or 200 million US dollars.

Growth should be aided by the company’s focus on improving summer collections, among other factors. Especially through the launch of new materials (merino and Tencel blends) and its foray into yoga apparel, the brand’s spring-summer collections should quickly reach 50% of sales as opposed to 30% five years ago.

"We see ourselves as the leader of outdoor merino. We control the supply chain from the farm to the production line," said the brand’s CEO.

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