Poler Co-founder Benji Wagner On New Vibes, Outerwear, And More
Since bursting onto the scene, Poler‘s camp vibes have taken the industry by storm, creating a new category and customers for retailers across skate, surf, and snow. Going into 2013, the brand has a grip of new initiatives on the docket, including, first and foremost, the release of a full outerwear range and collabs with Nike and Smith.
We caught up with Creative Director and Co-founder Benji Wagner to learn more.
Poler has blown up over the last couple seasons. Why do you think it struck such a chord?
Hopefully it’s because we are bringing new ideas and innovative products that resonate with people. I like to think that when something is authentic, people recognize it quickly and vice versa.
What are you doing to keep the hype strong and not become a “one hit wonder”?
Our line is expanding, the quality of our products has gone up, and we are reaching lots of new people that haven’t heard about us yet simply because we are so new.
Tell us a bit about the Fall ’13 line. What’s new in the direction?
This year we are introducing a full line of outdoor outerwear. Along with that, we have a great capsule collection in collaboration with Nike that we are really excited about. Our collection has grown into a full line of stuff in a way that is much more complete than last year.
What new products are you most hyped on?
I am most hyped on our whole outerwear collection. We have a full range of twelve styles and each has its place depending on your needs and budget.
You guys got a ton of buzz with innovative gear like the sleeping bag jacket. What’s new for next season in that vein?
I have a patent pending on the Wunder Bundler, which is a modular cooler/changing matt that we recently launched. I can’t divulge anything slated for the future but I am working on some other new products I’m excited about.
How many shops are you guys in these days and how have you ramped things up internally to keep up with demand?
We are in about 250-plus shops in North America and have distribution in Japan and Korea. We won an award from the ISPO show as one of the best new brands and that generated a lot of interest in the EU, but we are holding off and trying to make sure we have the right partners.
Top three things that happened to Poler in 2012:
— We are really grateful to have worked with so many awesome photographers on our Adventure photo essays.
— We have been working on a collection with Nike for 2013 that we couldn’t be more pumped on. Seeing that come to life has been awesome.
— Seeing people respond to our hashtag #campvibes and having fun with it. I love seeing people on their own adventures out in the world.
Thanks to everyone for supporting us on every level. We are so grateful. Follow us on all feeds @polerstuff for daily #campvibes!