INTERVIEW // ALLIED
INTERVIEWER Andrew Steiger PHOTOGRAPHY ADRIAN MARGELIST\
ALLIED FEATHER & DOWN: What is it like to be at the wheel of one of the most well rounded technical mountain sport brands on the planet?
ADRIAN MARGELIST: Joining Mammut in this exciting time and take a leading role is a great opportunity I highly appreciate. We will bring the Swiss heritage of Mammut to the next level. The company and the whole team has a great vibe. In outdoors so many disciplines and influences come together and create a whole new sight at things. Being able to connect the dots as Chief Creative Officer at Mammut is pure creativity and freedom to me.
AFD: What is your vision for Mammut?
AM: Mammut stands for SWISS 1862, Premium, Quality, Performance – we will continue to strengthen this position on a global level. Mammut has got such a great heritage with its roots going back to 1862 and is the oldest outdoor brand on the market. This is a unique and strong foundation we can rely on and pave new ways. In the end, the DNA of a brand must be identified and deliberately presented to the market. Building a brand to us means driving its evolution. The point is not so much to revolutionize the substance of the brand, but rather to reduce the brand to its essential characteristic and to develop continuous innovation.
AFD: What sort of changes has Mammut had to make to compete in this new ‘street culture’ economy that is currently influencing so many outdoor brands?
AM: It’s about contemporary design and not about street culture versus outdoor. At the heart of everything you have brand building and the love of the product: every brand has its own particular DNA that has to be treated with a great deal of respect. The product is the trigger that invokes emotions and generates enthusiasm in customers for a brand. In this regard, the aspects of heritage and premium quality are at the core, especially with Mammut. Born in Valais, Switzerland, I practically inherited a natural connection to mountain sports.
AFD: When did you recognize that things were changing and what is Mammut doing to not only keep up, but be out in front?
AM: The focal point is the reduction to the essence of the Mammut brand. In addition, we invest continuously in innovation, digitization and performance. Through its branding, Mammut conveys a clear signature that reflects our company history of over 155 years. This runs through the entire product portfolio, starting with the logo and claim, and going through to the cutting edge technology. At the end, the customer should recognize Mammut by its tailoring cuts – whether it is the top notch mountaineering collection Eiger Extreme or the new Urbaneering line Delta X.
AFD: Considering Mammut has a highly technical mountaineering background, how do you anticipate blending these two worlds of street and extreme outdoor?
AM: Mammut products, for example, exemplify the DNA of mountain sports and the history of the brand. The new Delta X collection in the area of Urbaneering - Mammut also sees moving in the urban environment as an activity - has just as much functional appeal as our top-line products. The new collection symbolizes the evolution of a brand: from Mountaineering to Urbaneering and from Eiger Extreme to Delta X. Those who remain true to their roots also have the courage and the strength to break new ground.
AFD: In the outdoor industry, what drives change? Why is change necessary?
AM: Due to the digitalization we see that the market is currently moving from brand push to customer pull. Technological developments and new trends greatly influence our consumption and communication behavior. Customer expectations are also changing as a consequence – they are now digital, mobile and social. Mammut therefore will focus on digital services, no-line commerce and communities. Consumer centricity is crucial today. In a digitized environment the customer is in the center of the attention. We are building an ecosystem and enable our customers to interact with Mammut in a diversity of channels.
AFD: Has climate change impacted the design process for Mammut?
AM: No, but it drives us to push our Corporate Responsibility ideology even more. Sustainability has been way more than a soft factor for some time now. Instead, it has become a core factor and all of us are called upon to contribute. Mammut actively works on continuously reducing the ecological footprint of its products. We care about people, communities and our planet. Companies have to take responsibility and Mammut has been doing this consistently for over 10 years. Mammut was one of the first outdoor companies to join the Fair Wear Foundation in 2008 and has committed itself to the world’s strictest standards for fair working conditions. We want to change the industry together with our customers. Since 2011 Mammut has been a partner of bluesign, which is currently the most stringent standard for consumer and environmental protection in the textile industry. In addition, we already use only certified or recycled down.
AFD: How does the next generation benefit from the new products that Mammut creates?
AM: As a Swiss premium outdoor brand with roots going back to 1862, we have a strong drive to preserve what is worth preserving and to improve what is not yet perfect. Our future customers will definitely benefit from these initiatives. Mammut’s strategic plan represents a consolidation of the company’s great commitment at all levels of corporate responsibility. With our products and services we want to enable also the next generation to experience nature in all its beauty. ⬩