Arc’teryx LEAF Brand Update Q&A With Director Stephen Church

Since its inception in 2004, Arc’teryx LEAF has earned a flood of recognition cementing it as the best gear in the world for the specialized military, government and law enforcement end-users. Recently, the program changed leadership.

To get an in-depth look into what the future holds for Arc’teryx LEAF, SSD spoke to Stephen Church, Arc’teryx LEAF’s new Business Unit Director.

SSD:   Stephen congratulations on your new role. I understand you’ve been with the LEAF for some time. Can you tell us a little bit about the journey?

SC:  Thank you. Yes, it’s been over six years now. I started on the operations side of the business in late 2012. Initially, I worked on developing capabilities to produce modified inline products for LEAF. A lot of effort was put into working with our partners and end-users to build our processes around their needs.

After some notable successes on larger complex contracts, I moved over to the commercial side of the business to work on developing capabilities that better support our global dealer network; especially on multiple-year contract opportunities. Now, as the Business Unit Director, I am excited to leverage this experience to build on our successes and grow our market even further.


SSD:   Tell us a little bit about your work before LEAF?

SC:  Early in my career, I was pretty focused on marketing technology with a special interest in operational development. I was privileged to have worked on some high-value projects for marquee brands like CIBC, Ford, GM, Xerox and Diageo. In about 2006, I decided to move to Vancouver, BC and took on a marketing and sale role with a firm that developed crime analysis software for law enforcement and military. For me, the market was a natural fit, so when a position opened up at Arc’teryx LEAF, that also included opportunities to build new operational capabilities, I was all-in.


SSD:   There’s been some press about the Mascot Bidco Oy investor consortium acquiring Amer Sports. Would you be able to provide some insight into the new ownership structure?

SC:  The Mascot Bidco investor consortium includes ANTA Sports, FountainVest PE, Tencent, and Anamered Investments. Anamered is owned by Chip Wilson, the founder of Lululemon.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Amer Sports remains an independent company based in Finland with a separate board of directors.

SSD:   Does this change anything for Arc’teryx LEAF?

SC:  There’s no change. LEAF continues to operate as an independent business unit with its own core leadership team, and we remain focused on the same markets and strategy. 


SSD:   Any changes in your sales and distribution?

SC:  On the commercial side of the business, we’re focused on developing stronger partnerships with our existing Accounts; to grow the brand in their communities.

We see our accounts as an extension of our LEAF family, so we’re investing in new systems and capabilities that will help deliver the right products to their consumers on time and in full.


SSDWill there be any changes in terms of manufacturing and sourcing?

SC:  LEAF remains committed to developing our products in Vancouver and manufacturing in Trade Act Compliant countries; with a heavy reliance on our factory here in Canada. We also remain focused on sourcing materials that are Berry compliant.

SSD:   Are there any changes to LEAF’s guiding principles?

SC:  Our mission and values are unwavering. We’re committed to providing best-in-class apparel and equipment solutions to specialized military, law enforcement, and government end-users. Our entire value chain has to be aligned with our consumer’s needs.

This mindset has developed into a strong sense of purpose within our team. Everyone in the program is committed to delivering solutions that enable mission success.

Our designer said it best the other week: “We don’t know how to build cheap shit.” I think it says a lot about the culture we have. We demand the best from each other, in everything we do, and there is no chance of lowering that bar.


SSD:   Can you share any news on product?

SC:  In the immediate future, we’re expanding our Combat Uniform category and making some updates to our Cold Weather styles.

We also have a couple limited of edition projects in the works. We’ll be sure to keep you posted. 😉


12 Responses to “Arc’teryx LEAF Brand Update Q&A With Director Stephen Church”

  1. JP says:

    You should have asked why LEAF started using knockoff Tweave(Everest) and knockoff Polartech(pontetorto) in their “updates” of existing lines.

  2. Brian says:

    They need to bring back the Assault FR Gloves

  3. Insane Soldier says:

    Why can’t they make an assault pack which is a basic 30 litre design without zippers?

  4. JOE says:

    Bring back the Mattock socks and the Wraith sets!! (please?)

    • Insane Soldier says:

      Roger That to You JOE!! The Wraith sets in Ranger Green and Or Squamish Windshirts in Tactical Colors!!

      • Pro Valore says:

        Wraith Gen 2.

        SSD, you have the contacts at Arc’ head office.

        The community has spoken. Pass the word along.

    • Egor says:

      I`ve always wondered why they won`t make another run of minotaur halfshells in crocodile. If adequately priced (300-400 usd) it will disappear from the shelves.

      • SSD says:

        Because your idea of reasonable pricing and theirs are inherently different, and they’ve already learned that the Minotaur won’t fly off the shelves.

        • Egor says:

          Selling to devgru and selling to general public at devgru prices are inherently different cases.

  5. Rick S says:

    I understand ArcT was making a BPRE edition of the patrol jacket. This was a release to BPRE patreon supporters. Im not sure of the details since December.

  6. Bradkaf308 says:

    My 2 cents on Arc’ designs. I’m not keen on those “water proof” zippers. I want something with more teeth, strength.