The Line Break | ourCaste’s Fall/Holiday 2015 Collection – Redefining what a "basic" knit means
ourCaste is among a handful of emerging brands raising the bar; the evolution of the product always reaching new levels of cool, but maintaining a core ethos of eminence. With their Fall/Holiday 2015 collection, ourCaste is going back to the basics, taking a more premium aesthetic and function to the line, and pushing for a "new normal" when it comes to fabrication technology. "We're trying to move ‘tech’ out of a sub-category in our range, and treat it more as a universal application to all pieces – almost treating it as a new norm to product."
ourCaste admits the current state of these smaller, emerging brands in the space has begun to play an important role in the competitive innovation of the market. "There are a lot of really great brands right now working hard for market share, retail space, and consumer visibility," says ourCaste. "It's challenging but is also what's making the industry evolve so quickly."
The brand also admits the ever-changing nature of marketing has encouraged them to create more natural partnerships with their retailers and distributors. "Things are not as formulated or direct as they once were," when addressing the evolving era of marketing. "But we're here to help visibility of the brand within our partners," in all areas of cross-promotional efforts.
We sat down with ourCaste to discuss their new Fall/Holiday collection and where they see the market headed.
1. What are the most significant additions to your line this year?
Without a doubt, the most significant addition to the collection this season is the integration of our functional coatings across almost all of the line. In past seasons, we dabbled and experimented with building Moisture Wicking and D.W.R. coatings into the range as an exercise to plan costing and lead times. Fall 2015, everything lined up and we felt confident to roll this evolution of the brand’s product out everywhere we could fit.
2. Which particular piece within the collection are you most excited about and why?
This season I think we have two or three standouts for different reasons. The Marc Puffer would be the first one, notably because of it's a poly-fil insulated piece, water repellent, with waterproof zippers for $130 retail. A ton of jacket with epic styling and price point built for everyone. Second, the Hunter D.W.R. woven showcases to innovation and evolution of daily wearable pieces with a functional story at their roots. This piece is by far one of the best received and worn around the office, and also has that added value of being water repellent. Lastly, the Varley Pointelle Knit should be mentioned. We hope this moisture wicking staple begins to redefine what exactly a "basic" knit means to people.
3. What is your take on the overall state of the market right now – challenges? Opportunities?
More than anything, competition. There are a lot of really great brands right now, working hard for market share, retail space, and consumer visibility. It's challenging but is also what's making the industry evolve so quickly. There seems to be a new pulse or heartbeat out there and it's fueled by this influx of massively creative and passionate brands occupying this space together. It's very inspiring. The opportunities that come from this are retailers noticing these "emerging brands" relevance and starting to allocate dollars as their trust builds with them.
There seems to be a new pulse or heartbeat out there and it's fueled by this influx of massively creative and passionate brands occupying this space together. It's very inspiring.
4. What general trends are you noticing?
Solids across categories are mandatory. Prints are still there, but slowed and a but less in your face. The "cut and sew" tee replacing the "graphic" tee shirt. Woven's are killing it for us. And of course, anything with added value or an extra reason for a consumer to buy. What's making what you’re selling different from what they are selling.
5. What external influences and inspirations can be seen in this year’s line?
A purpose for all things. We constantly draw back to our "Goods For Life" mantra of designing and developing product that will work for you when you need it whatever it is your doing. We're building better basics, built with better fabrications, with what we think are the best fits.
6. What special programs and/or incentives are you offering for specialty retail?
We love any and all cross promo initiatives. We're here to help visibility of the brand within our partners, so whether that is social pushes and building click-to traffic from outside media channels to traditional POP and in-store fixturing, to events, we're trying to be well rounded in this evolving era of marketing. Things are not as formulated or direct as they once were. Consumer traffic is coming from new places, different places, and once unthought-of of places.
7. What are some key technical advancements this season?
Incorporating a range of functional coatings, at an affordable and competitive price, across all categories was massive for us this season. We're trying to move "tech" out of a sub-category in our range, and treat it more as a universal application to all pieces – almost treating it as a new norm to product.