STRONG GUSTS AHEAD: The political climate being what it is, more than a few New Yorkers wish they could just sail away to another land. With next week’s opening of a North Sails store, they will have an outpost to buy sailing gear should they actually follow through on that whim.
The 2,100-square-foot North Sails NYC store will start greeting shoppers Wednesday at 108 Fifth Avenue. The location will be the company’s third in the U.S., since Newport, R.I., and Annapolis, Md., locations opened in recent months. North Sails NYC is an offshoot of North Sails, which was started in San Diego in 1957 by Olympic gold medalist sailor Lowell North. With distribution in 29 countries, the company designs, engineers and manufactures sails for racing and cruising sailboats from 8 feet to 200 feet.
Sailors or boat owners in search of North Sails’ actual sails will have to shop elsewhere. But in line with its nautical heritage, the new boutique will have a beverage bar with a curated international selection of water for shoppers to choose from. North Sails has also partnered with Nespresso to offer espresso and other coffee drinks for consumers to purchase. Fred Grover, chief executive officer of North Sails Apparel America, will be flying in from the brand’s corporate headquarters to check out the downtown boutique.
In addition to the brand’s high-tech outerwear, shoppers will find one-of-a-kind sailing accessories, waterproof bags, swimwear, pants, hybrid jackets and knitwear. In the new store in the Flatiron district, North Sails’ $250 Rox jacket, a $190 oversize full-zip hoodie and a $170 hand knit sweater are expected to be bestsellers with women, according to a company spokeswoman. Rooted in men’s wear, the brand expects its $85 Harold hoodie and a considerably more expensive item — the $495 Russel double hood jacket to be popular with men.
For the new flagship’s launch, there are plans for a series of events including presentations and screenings with notable sailors and other well-known guests from different parts of the world. The North Sails NYC store will host a private screening of “A Plastic Ocean,” a documentary about ocean conservation, on Nov. 29.