Not your ordinary $600 jacket
Liz Hochstedler, Associate Editor
October 3, 2012
Filed under Features
Icon adds new products to its 1000 line
The first product in Icon’s Fall 2012 catalog is the company’s new Icon 1000 Outsider Convertible Jacket. With an MSRP of $525-$575, it’s in line with others in the 1000 collection, but noticeably more expensive than most of the company’s other products.
So will it sell? Justin Knauer, Icon’s senior developer and media coordinator, has good reason to think it will.
The 1000 line is entering its second season with new products and updates to previously released gear. The collection was launched at Dealer Expo and it’s already seeing solid sales and receiving high marks from customers.
“The response is tremendous. I think there were a lot of people that thought that maybe it was just like, I guess, a flash-in-the-pan or something, and it’s not,” Knauer said.
Icon 1000 is a premium line, with prices for leather jackets running from $400-$650, boots ranging from $190-$255 and gloves at $90. But Knauer says the quality is worth the added investment. The Chapter Jacket, for example, features laser-cut perforated panels for ventilation, drum-dyed antique finish Brazilian cowhide and Icon sport fit. Each jacket, vest, glove and pants also includes D30 impact protection.
“There are other jackets out there; there are other pieces not in this line that look motorcycle but do not function as motorcycle when it comes to a crash. We want customers, not casualties. So anybody that gets one of our products is getting something that has reinforced seams. You know we’re putting the D30 armor in the 1000 line. It not available anywhere else,” Knauer said.
The D30 also offers a low profile, encouraging customers to wear their jackets anywhere.
“You can put it in the jacket or the garment, and it doesn’t look like you have an armored traditional motorcycle jacket. If it looks less odd if you’re walking into just a normal public event, you’re more likely to wear that stuff, and that’s a win-win for everybody involved,” Knauer added.
The Icon 1000 line was years in the making. Some of the garments were in the works for five or six years, but weren’t released until the entire line was ready. Originally the collection was targeted to riders who build more obscure custom bikes, but pieces are also being purchased by sport bike riders, Harley-Davidson enthusiasts and others.
“It’s almost like the target demographic is just that guy out there that understands what the piece is,” Knauer said.
The company is able to get a better understanding of that audience not only from talking to its dealers but by visiting the Icon 1000 microsite. There, buyers of products from the 1000 line can use the unique serial number listed on a metal tab on each piece to register it and share feedback.
“You can go on there, and there’s actually an avenue of direct feedback to the Icon office about your product. You love it; you hate it, whatever; my dog ate it. I get all those things. Tremendous response from these guys,” Knauer reported.
Despite the fact that the signature Chapter jacket starts at $600, and the line was released at a time when consumers are more cautious about their spending, the garments are still attracting attention, as sales numbers have shown.
“There are still guys out there with $40,000 motorcycles, and $600 to them is really not that big of a deal,” Knauer said. “Those guys are looking for a finer finish, a better product, something that’s going to last them for a long time, something that not everyone else has.”
The line also offers a range of colorways not found in other leather gear. Knauer said the brown, grey and red Chapter jackets and brown and limited edition Glory red, white and blue boots, as well as the best-selling red Federal jacket for women, fill holes that were in the market, and they give dealers more of a variety.
“If anything, it brings attention to the product. You can see the detail and the quality of the build of the product,” Knauer said of the variety of colorways, adding that some customers will often be attracted to displays featuring the new colors but will still end up buying the piece in black.
The interest the line is generating, even in those who don’t end up buying a 1000 product, is also a benefit.
“It’s getting customers to go in a dealership and at least ask about it, you know, ‘Tell me about this 1000 stuff. How can I get my hands on this?’ It’s good. I think dealers appreciate that as well because anything you can do to get those guys through the threshold of the dealership, it changes things for everyone that’s involved,” Knauer said.
Though the company has begun selling and promoting its 1000 line, Icon hasn’t abandoned its lower-priced product for the sake of entering the premium market. In fact, some of the features of the 1000 line are even helping shape other products.
“We recognize that not everybody out there can afford a $600 jacket, so we’ve taken the Chapter, and this year we released the Device jacket, which you can get in textile and you can get in leather,” Knauer said. “One’s $200 and change, one’s $400 and change — textile versus leather. It’s understated as well. It’s the same kind of cut and fit as the Chapter jacket, and it’s offered in some additional colorways.”
Icon has future plans to expand the 1000 collection, as well as its other lines.