By Andrew Rudansky
In the late-1970s a small store opened up in Sag Harbor catering especially to the sailors and fishermen in the area. That store, Atlantis WeatherGear, provided apparel and sportswear to east end sailors for almost ten years. Originally an export from Boston, the small company was eventually bought out by a bigger corporation and closed up shop. Now, after thirty years, several owners and various east coast locations Atlantis WeatherGear in partnership with the brand Peter Elliot has finally reopened a store in the Hamptons.
The new store, Atlantis by Peter Elliot, opened up shop at 50 Jobs Lane, Southampton the weekend before Memorial Day.
Chaz Bertrand, owner of Atlantis WeatherGear, and Eliot Rabin, owner of the high-end Manhattan clothing boutique company Peter Elliot, partnered up to create the new Southampton store, offering products from both companies’ clothing lines in the store. Rabin did say however that the majority of the products are from Atlantis WeatherGear and only some of the offerings were from his company.
As one would expect, much has changed in the decades since the Atlantis WeatherGear’s humble beginnings out in Sag Harbor during the 1970s. For one, the newest owners from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who bought the company in 2007, have geared the company towards their own competitive sailing backgrounds, offering new products for the serious sailor.
“Chaz and the boys at Atlantis, they are true, true sailors. They go all the way back to America’s Cup, and Bill Lynn, one of Chaz’s partners, is a [World Champion and internationally ranked] sailor,” said Rabin. Atlantis WeatherGear has taken this love of competitive sailing and designed their products around this passion.
“Atlantis WeatherGear’s sailing and sportswear has been engineered so that it is as waterproof as a garment can get,” said Rabin, “these are high tech working fabrics that have a tendency to remain dry, even in [strong heavy weather conditions].”
The people at Atlantis are so confident in their products that they have recently become the official apparel provider for the US National Sailing Team, outfitting the team with Atlantis’ high quality sailing gear for each of their high profile races. Atlantis WeatherGear also hopes to support the US team in their run in the 2012 Olympics in London.
The Peter Elliot brand has also distinguished itself as a heavy-hitter in the apparel industry, with three trendy boutiques in Manhattan. Rabin said he selected clothing from his Manhattan stores that were the most water-friendly for the new store in Southampton.
So far Atlantis by Peter Elliot offers mostly men’s and boy’s clothing, but they do intend on introducing a woman’s line for the store as well.
According to Rabin the store has been doing well in its first few months.
“I can’t complain,” he said about recent sales, chalking up his success to the high quality of his products. “I think people have discovered both the Atlantis brand and the Peter Elliot brand, and it seems to jive pretty good together.” Even though the partnership between Peter Elliot and Atlantis is relatively new, both are contemplating opening up a second Atlantis by Peter Elliot store.
“If we continue to do well in Southampton it would be very possible for us to jump over into Sag Harbor,” said Rabin. Bill Lynn at Atlantis said his company would be happy to expand into Sag Harbor. Both camps were enthusiastic at the prospect of taking Atlantis back to Sag Harbor, a long time nautical hub in New York.
“I had a meeting in Sag Harbor the other day and I like the town,” said Rabin, who cautioned that any plans for expansion were currently in the preliminary stages. He did say that he had already spoken to a local real estate agency about available locations in the village. The plans for a second store in the village of Sag Harbor would be similar in design to the current store in Southampton.
Sag Harbor has for years been a commercial center built around the sea, with a rich history of commercial shipping and whaling. The village’s economy is still highly dependent on the water, mostly through revenue from boating and tourism.
“We have a product that is built for a specific purpose, being on the water,” said Rabin; a seemingly perfect fit for this waterside village.