Wealth

Canada Goose Chairman Spins Pricey Parkas Into Gold

  • Strong demand for winter coats gives him $1 billion fortune
  • The Toronto-based outfitter’s Snow Mantra Parka costs $1,495

Canada Goose Holdings Inc.’s store in Soho was doing brisk business on a midweek evening in February, with a steady stream of New York shoppers trying on the company’s trademark parkas with coyote fur-lined hoods, some priced at $1,495.

Dani Reiss

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

That demand has helped boost the retailer’s shares, which have surged 173 percent since its initial public offering last March, enough to give Chief Executive Officer Dani Reiss a $1 billion fortune, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The stock advanced 5.1 percent Wednesday.

Reiss, 44, who’s also chairman, owns about a fifth of the Toronto-based outfitter. He declined to discuss his net worth.

“That’s not something I’m really comfortable talking about,” he said in a phone interview last week after the company posted a fiscal third-quarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates. “I’m as committed to this company as I have ever been. I love what I do. I love coming to work every day.”

Employees inside the Canada Goose production facility in Toronto.

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

In 1957, Sam Tick founded Metro Sportswear Ltd., which specialized in woolen vests, raincoats and snowmobile suits. Reiss’s father David, who was Tick’s son-in-law, joined the company in the 1970s and bought a majority stake in 1985, according to a 2017 New Yorker profile.

Reiss started working with his father in 1997 and took over as CEO in 2001. He led a rebranding blitz that emphasized the brand’s made-in-Canada cred and a rugged history that includes supplying coats to scientists at Antarctica’s McMurdo Station.

“The world is thirsty for more Canada,” Reiss, who has a degree in English literature from the University of Toronto, wrote in a 2017 book about the company, featuring a foreword by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. “It is time for Canadians and Canadian companies to start imagining success on a significantly greater scale.”

Celebrities including Rihanna and Ben Affleck have embraced the brand. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. founder Jack Ma, Asia’s richest person, sported a Canada Goose parka last month at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Logo patches

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg

The coat, with its signature red, white and blue circular logo -- an inverted map of the arctic -- have become a winter staple for fashionistas worldwide and attracted a fanatical fan base. The company history tells of one customer with 20 coats who mostly wears them around his air-conditioned house in Atlanta.

Not to be outdone, Reiss is entitled to 100 complimentary coats a year as CEO.

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