Gobi Cashmere is commemorating its 40th anniversary this year by setting its sights firmly on conquering the U.S. market. While it is already an internationally-acclaimed fashion and lifestyle brand that delivers pure Mongolian cashmere across countless territories, only now has it concentrated its marketing to American shores.
But, the move is really just part of the brand’s evolution as it celebrates four decades of luxurious quality and environmentally responsible fashion while looking ahead to the future of the industry. As other companies age and remain rooted in the past, Gobi has adapted seamlessly to the demands of this generation of consumers by embracing e-commerce and social media, sustainability, inclusivity and ethical practices, as well as realistic price points.
Among the recent Gobi Cashmere initiatives is its expansion beyond core items such as pullovers, jackets, trenches and cardigans with collections that level up the design factor to appeal to more fashion-forward shoppers. Recent launches include the “Expressionist” line, with pop art-driven and all-inclusive (regardless of gender identification, race or disability) selections in vivid and high contract colors, and the “Chalked” line, which includes an array of lush cable knits, svelte sweater, trendy hoodies and sophisticated coats in sharp silhouettes, rich shades of caramel, teal, powder and burgundy in bold two-tone or multi-shade color blocking and surface textures. Both collections stay true to the brand’s elegant aesthetic and functional comfort while also reaffirming its commitment to providing genuine cashmere garments with the highest standards of quality and social and ecological responsibility.
The brand’s “Essentials” collection is a range of athleisure, loungewear and indispensable basics that work well at home or in casual settings — and even at the gym, as Gobi hopes to convince Americans that cashmere isn’t limited to sweaters or colder seasons. The lightweight materials of the brand’s bralettes and biking shorts make these items ideal for everyday wear. Up next for the brand will be a 1960s Mod-inspired collection featuring groovy flourishes rendered with a modern twist.
Founded in 1981, Gobi Cashmere was built by its native Mongolian community that today includes local herders in the highest steppes of Mongolia and its factory of 1,500 workers and artisans — the majority of whom are women — who possess generations of traditional skill in crafting cashmere garments. Since its inception, Gobi has valued nature, sustainability, preservation and ethical practices on every level of its production and marketing cycles by blending artisanal traditions with modern innovations and technology.
Mongolian cashmere fibers have always been valued for being thin and flexible, allowing them to quickly revert to their original form after being distressed or folded. Their long length is a crucial quality for spinning into yarn and thread, making it less likely to cause pilling. Centuries of knowledge led the native herders to sense when their goats started to feel uncomfortable with the weight of their coats, and when it becomes more difficult for them to eat and move around.
Herders only hand-comb the fleece when the goats are naturally shedding their fleece in the spring months in order to live more comfortably during the warmer seasons.
Another major initiative that is sure to win over today’s socially responsible shoppers is Gobi’s Truly Traceable Cashmere Projects, which assures customers that the goats have been properly treated and that duplicate pieces can be produced by high-quality fibers from the same area. This, in turn, identifies which area — and, soon, which herding families — produces the best quality cashmere. The higher income herders receive assistance in better quality of life from the direct sourcing and purchasing of their raw cashmere. The goats themselves also benefit, as Gobi is able to guarantee that their lives are free of cruelty by way of traditional cashmere combing. When the natural process of cashmere growth is observed, the product is ultimately softer and of higher quality than that which comes from goats that are raised in close-quartered farms for the purpose of harvesting cashmere. The brand’s indisputable combination of legacy and modernity gives it the unique advantage of delivering exquisitely made garments that honor its herding communities and protect the environment to the rest of the world.
To further its visibility in the United States market, Gobi recently collaborated with the Susan G. Komen Foundation for its annual breast cancer awareness campaign, pledging 10% of sales from its limited-edition pink-themed items that were designed to support this worthy cause. The collection included an embroidered sweater in pink and cream, and an embroidered scarf in cream. The brand also released an advertising campaign with posters and billboards that were unveiled across subway trains and stations in New York City.
Though genuine cashmere will never realistically achieve mass market costs, making Gobi’s items affordable with in-house production has always been an important factor to the success of the label. Its items are reasonably priced for American buyers: bralettes ($79), biker shorts ($109), joggers ($179-$229), pajama sets ($379), cropped tanks and tops ($89-$159), basic hoodies ($229), cardigans ($139-$229), dresses ($129-$199), jackets and blazers ($299-$499), trench coats ($499-$749), sweaters ($119-$179) and other items. Sizing ranges from 2XS to 3XL for men, women and in unisex styles. Newer items like blankets and throws open Gobi’s doors to the home category, while accessories such as cozy caps, gloves and face masks are expected to be popular as well.
All of the brand’s cashmere collections are available direct to consumers online at gobicashmere.com.