Icelandic outerwear brand 66°North has appointed former head of men’s ready-to-wear at Bottega Veneta, Kei Toyoshima as creative director.
Toyoshima, originally from Japan, has been working in the fashion industry in Paris since 2008 and most recently was consulting at Louis Vuitton on its menswear collection. He has also worked at Bottega Veneta and Haider Ackermann, where he was head of menswear, and was part of the design team at Coach, Wooyoungmi, Maison Martin Margiela and Lanvin.
In his new role as creative director, Toyoshima will work with the team at 66°North to create “new handwriting” across all categories to enhance the brand experience for fashion customers.
Commenting on the appointment, Bjarney Harðardóttir, chief executive at 66°North, said in a statement: "We are very proud to have Kei Toyoshima joining and strengthening the 66°North team. Kei brings excellent experience and insight that adds on top of the Icelandic heritage that our design embraces.
“Although Japan and Iceland are geographically distant, there are many commonalities between the countries when it comes to nature and the elements. This makes it easy for Kei to understand the DNA of the 66 brand, both related to the aesthetic part as well as the performance. I am eager to see Kei move us to new creative heights."
66°North strengthens fashion focus with new creative director
The Icelandic outerwear brand was founded in 1926 by Hans Kristjánsson to make protective clothing for Icelandic fishermen and workers braving the North Atlantic elements. Over the decades, the brand has evolved to attract both outdoor and fashion customers.
On joining 66°North, Toyoshima added: "I'm both honoured and proud to be working with 66°North. There is a natural synergy between my work and the craftsmanship, quality and detail-driven execution of the garments they produce.
“I look forward to bringing an approachable collection accessible to all and adding additional style credentials. I am genuinely excited for the future and the direction we are looking to take such an iconic brand like 66°North especially as it enters its 100th year in business."
66°North to open London flagship
66°North, which become the first Icelandic company to receive B Corp certification earlier this year, is set to expand its retail footprint at the end of November with the opening of its London flagship store on Regent Street.
The 3,500-square-foot London flagship marks 66°North's first permanent store outside of Iceland and Denmark and will showcase its technical outerwear, apparel and accessories for men and women. The retail space will also house the brand’s showroom and a space for community gatherings and workshops on the lower floor.
The 66°North London store is set to open on November 30.