Millet gives new urban feel to Trilogy mountain apparel range
On Alpine peaks, mountain apparel bearing the red, white and blue ‘M’ logo of Millet is a popular choice, but it is still far from being a recognised presence on city streets, where The North Face for example is becoming extremely well-established.
Millet is a brand with a solid positioning in the mountaineering market, in Europe as well as in Japan and South Korea, especially with its most technical range, Trilogy. And it is with the latter that Frédéric Ducruet, boss of the Millet Mountain Group (owned by Swiss group Calida and comprising Millet, Eider and Lafuma) wants to win over urban consumers who dream about mountain peaks.
“[Mountaineering] practitioners and purchasing power are increasingly to be found among urban dwellers. We must connect with these enthusiasts, and we’re doing so with our edgiest line,” said Ducruet.
Millet’s product range covers three categories: trail running, bouldering and mountaineering, the latter with Trilogy. For the Spring/Summer 2020, Trilogy will continue to feature high-tech, brightly coloured products for climbing enthusiasts to wear on the peaks, but will also introduce Trilogy Signature, whose jackets sport more fitted cuts and a versatile colour palette, enabling mountain aficionados to wear them in the city too.
To attract this urban clientèle, the range developed by Millet includes polos, sport jackets priced at €349, more affordable than Trilogy’s Alpine jackets, chinos at €129, the Hike Up mountain sneakers at €129 and a series of backpacks.
Does this line risk becoming a competitor to Eider and Lafuma? Not quite. Eider, which features products for both men and women in a market where the majority of brands has a strong menswear imprint, has evolved in recent seasons into a range characterised by strong graphic motifs, targeting bouldering fans in particular. Lafuma’s urban trail range might share some of Trilogy Signature's traits, though it is designed chiefly for trekking and travelling, with looser fits and materials that, while high-tech, are not so directional.
The Millet Mountain Group knows it has to strike a carefully considered balance, as its shop-in-shops in department stores and specialist retailers increasingly include more than one of its brands.
The group's strategy, which has a strong emphasis on eco-sustainability, seems to be bearing fruit however, within a market which many operators found quite tough to handle in the last few months. The Millet Mountain Group is notably making inroads into e-tail, while trying to find the right balance between the latter and the retail-wholesale channel. In the 2018 financial year, the group recorded a revenue of €101.4 million, growing by 8.9% in France, by 19.1% in Japan and by 26.4% in China.
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