Feb 5, 2018
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Son to launch high-end heritage outdoor line inspired by Sir Edmund Hillary

Feb 5, 2018

The family of mountaineering legend Sir Edmund Hillary plans to launch a premium outdoor men’s clothing range inspired by his life, with its debut set for New Zealand Fashion Week in August.

Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953 - Wikimedia

The company behind the launch was co-founded by Sir Edmund’s son Peter Hillary, as well as Briton Mike Hall-Taylor, with the label set to be named simply Edmund Hillary.

The launch has plenty of potential. We’ve already seen the success of other lines named after famous sportspeople (such as Fred Perry and Lacoste), while growing sales for the outdoor clothing sector, and an interest in heritage should also work in its favour. The offer will include replicas of the clothing worn by Sir Edmund in 1953 when he became the first climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest.

"The new business - Edmund Hillary Brands Ltd - will help keep the legacy of Sir Edmund Hillary alive around the world for future generations. It will also support the people and places that he dedicated so much of his life to helping," Hall-Taylor said.

Hall-Taylor is MD of HT Group, a consultancy that aims to help businesses generate sustainable profits and do good in the process. He has been working on the concept with Peter Hillary since Sir Edmund’s death a decade ago.

The partners did not disclose who is funding the project but said most of the investment is coming from the UK. Much of the production will happen in New Zealand and Nepal, apart from more complex work that will be done in Britain. Some items will be made by the same manufacturer that supplied Sir Edmund in 1953 and the line will also use New Zealand merino wool.

The company is targeting Australasia, Northern Europe, North America and Japan for its launch. It will debut with 25 items including jackets worn by Sir Edmund and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, plus vests, hand knits and accessories.

And in line with current trends for achieving social or environmental good, the company said that 2% of each sale will be donated to schools in the Himalayas and outdoor education programmes globally. Hillary Outdoors, Sir Edmund’s charity that provides outdoor education for disadvantaged young New Zealanders, will be one recipient.

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