Pro snowboader Victor Daviet’s brand PAG Neckwear started like all good brands do – out of necessity. Growing up the French rider needed to keep his head and neck warm from the elements and thanks to his seamstress grandmother, PAG was born. Now taking things more seriously, Victor and his business partners are creating neck warmers (and other accessories) with high quality materials to combat the cold. All made in France and with a strong managerial team comprised of pro riders and designers.
Please give an overview of how and why the company began?
PAG NECKWEAR is a family affair.
Everything started about 10 years ago at the beginning of Victor Daviet’s snowboarding career when one day he asked his grandmother, Michele, a talented seamstress, to make him some neckwear out of 2 pieces of fleece she had left to protect him from the cold weather during his snowboarding sessions.
His grandmother’s neckwarmers appealed to his friends and quickly all the members of his snowboard club wanted their own neck warmer made by this infamous grandmother.
So Michele started a larger production, first for our close friends and then we started to sell some in our local snowboard shop Atmosphere in Gap. Quickly supported by all the new wave of French snowboarders, the PAG neckwear brand started to rise.
The years passed and Victor’s career took off, although PAG Neckwear was still in our hearts, it was not the main focus for a few years. But in 2016 the co-founders gathered together and decided to give a new impetus to the family brand. After a year of research, product testing, and organizing a new production process in France (our Grand Mother still keeps an eye on the brand but unfortunately her two hands couldn’t keep up with our demand! PAG NECKWEAR was officially launched back in October 2017.
Who is on the management team, and what are their backgrounds?
Victor Daviet (President & historical co-founder) :
One of the best current French professional snowboarders, he represents other brands like Salomon, 686, Dakine, Smith, Nixon, and Addicted Shop. He also organizes the Safety Shred Days (avalanche classes for riders) and studies at Grenoble Management School. Victor wanted to link his entrepreneur personality with his passions for snowboarding, mountains, school, family: all in one brand story!
Paul Obermosser (CEO and co-founder):
Former pro skier, he developed a strong interest in entrepreneurship and fashion while keeping his strong roots for mountain sports. After some business creation studies, he came to join us in 2016 to boost the PAG NECKWEAR family brand. He now works 100% on the project.
Arthur Davies (Partner & Historical co-founder) :
A holder of a bachelor degree in optic design, he is the co-owner of OZED COMPANY. Arthur is in charge of designing and sourcing for PAG NECKWEAR.
Ben-Thomas Javid (Partner & Historical co-founder) :
Former pro-snowboarder he is now the PAG NECKWEAR’s Swiss Army Knife. A true self-educated man who created all the brand platforms and designs.
What is the company ethos?
PAG NECKWEAR is a technical textile accessories brand made in France created by mountain professionals (riders) for rad people.
Our three core brand values are:
Product technicality, which is definitely the main value of the brand. Created by riders and innovative professionals, the brand has invested a lot in R&D to make products which protect users in hard-core conditions. We care about every detail in order to push our product to the best quality. The brand has developed some strong partnerships with suppliers, like for example with 37.5 to receive the benefits of the most innovative and high quality fabrics. The times of frozen neck warmers are now a thing of the past.
Family is the second most important value of our brand’s philosophy. Considering that we starting the brand with our grandmother, we want to keep that real crew vibe in our team riders and with the company members.
And the last one is the aesthetics. The crew does not hide their true fashion inspirations so we design all our products with LOUISE PORCHE a young haute couture designer. We aim to be trendsetters, both in aesthetics with our designs and and in our communication,.
What sets you apart from your competitors?
Our positioning is clear, we want to create tomorrow’s accessories. Technical and innovative accessories with a fashion aesthetic approach. Crossing over with street lifestyle accessories and mountain equipment, our products allow us to reach mountain experts and mountain sports enthusiasts but also urban users who care about quality and aesthetics.
Also, our strong ethics and team riders’ origins differentiate ourselves from other brands, we are a French brand made by true riders with 100% of our products made in France. Our products are high-end quality with attractive prices compared to our competitors.
Could you tell us about the way in which you use local resources in your products?
We produce quality products, and we want all of our products to be manufactured in France. We closely and proudly work with local factories. France has proven already that it has the knowledge and the expertise to manufacture high quality products. This decision has important consequences. Our production costs are higher than abroad, and our margins are smaller, but we contribute to the local economy, minimize our environmental impact and gain in proximity with the factories. We are from a responsible generation who care about change and we hope other brands will follow this path as well.
What do you find important about the European market?
The consumers’ knowledge is a something that we have to take in consideration in the European market. The mountain sports enthusiasts are picky about quality, making them really informed consumers.
We also feel that the mountain culture is strong in Europe and mostly in the Alps. The big events, festivals, and even trade shows cultivate that enthusiasm for sports and products.
Where and who are you seeding your products with?
We are a brand made by pro riders so all our products are invented and designed for them to answer to their needs in terms of style and technicality.
We also provide products to professionals, for example, all the HO5 Snowpark Company shapers who use neckwears in every kind of conditions.
We also ran some private tests with random consumers in collaboration with Fluofun mag and saw really good feedback.
Why should retailers sell your brand?
If they are concerned with high quality products, strong ethics throughout the entire production cycle, selling process, and ‘made in France’ production: PAG NECKWEAR is what they are looking for.
Our products are accessible to everyone given our price range: from a professional snowboarder riding amazing lines in Alaska, to your cute 5 yearsold on her first winter holidays skiing. We cultivate our avant-garde philosophy and release new products every year while keeping a strong basics line.
How’s business been affected by the economic downturn?
On our side, we are young brand under development so we haven’t been directly touched by the downturn.
But we think e-commerce has impacted shops and in order to meet consumers needs, shops need to specialize more / to get a sharper brand selection, and technical gear needs to be explained and guided.
Consumers may consume less but they are still seeking high-quality products with a long lifespan.
At PAG NECKWEAR we aim to offer exclusive shades in order to help out shops.
Where are you currently distributed and what are the plans for future growth?
We are currently only distributed in France, some ski resorts shops, some city shops, and in main retailers such as Glisshop, Hawaii Surf, Addicted…
For our future growth, we are looking for more retail outlets in ski resorts and other key accounts. We aim to establish PAG NECKWEAR as France’s number one accessories brand. Then when we have a strong base we will export the brand to other countries.
Where can we check out your products/videos/stuff? (web/facebook/etc)
You can check all our products on our website: www.pag-nkw.com
If you want to learn more about the brand, the products, and our lifestyle send us an email at [email protected] and we will send you a digital version of our catalog.