WL Gore & Associates, best known as a materials company that supplies breathable, waterproof Gore-Tex fabric to the industry’s top brands for their outerwear and athletic wear, has created a fashion start-up for design, market and sell clothing directly to consumers. .

Its first product, a women’s jacket, will be launched today.

“We are a materials company and our focus is on making fabrics that go into making finished garments,” said Sara Ellis, product specialist in the Delaware-based company’s fabrics division. And while Gore sets specifications for what can be done with its fabrics and works with a limited number of manufacturers, it still relies on what it calls the “host brand” for the design and production of the garments. “We work with the product development teams of these brands, and when you put on a Gore-Tex jacket, you know it’s going to be dry and breathable, but they have a target consumer and specific prices. “

So, in an effort to have more control over her offering, Gore is exploring a different business model, she said – one that will allow the brand to create a product and sell it directly to the consumer for the first time. times in 63 years of history.

The coat features Gore-Tex fabrics and will cost $ 1,300.

“It’s not something Gore has done in the past,” Ellis said, adding that the product will be designed, manufactured and marketed by Gore. “We are designing it for a target consumer related to Gore’s performance and aesthetics, we have found world class factories and we will control the message and the storytelling.”

The brand will be called Viev, which stands for Variation in Everything and is also a nod to Genevieve Gore, who founded the private business with her husband Wilbert in Newark, Del., In 1958.

“Gore-Tex is for technology and Viev is for Genevieve,” said Craig Wilson, entrepreneur, consultant and author who is working with Gore on the launch. “It wouldn’t be fair for the company to call him Gore,” he said, “because it’s so much more than that.”

Wilson works with Jonathan Hart, founder of Sitka Gear, a technical clothing brand for hunters, on the creation and launch of Viev.

“The Gore business really does mean to improve people’s lives,” Wilson said. But with the pandemic drastically changing things and leading to a real transformation in work and family life, Gore saw a gap in the market that he could fill with Viev.

“It’s not related to fashion, the outdoors, or any specific activity,” Wilson said. “It’s an all-purpose jacket that’s both beautiful and rugged.”

The initial launch will be small. It will start with the Women’s Gemma Insulated Long Jacket, and then three more silhouettes, a short, medium and long length, will roll out later this year. Men will be added in early 2022. The Gemma Insulated Long Jacket, which offers warmth and comfort, will retail for $ 1,300 and will be available in three colors. The other jackets will sell for between $ 600 and $ 850. They will all be sold on the Vievlife site.

“We think we can build a business with just one jacket,” Wilson said.