Fossil wants to make the most of its 25th anniversary.
This story first appeared in the July 20, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Richardson, Tex.-based accessories firm is launching a series of initiatives to honor its silver anniversary, including a commemorative advertising campaign, e-commerce additions and a footwear launch expected to grow to 20 percent of Fossil’s business. The firms hopes these plans will more than double its $1.62 billion volume.
“The main thing we wanted to do with our anniversary was to celebrate the brand and look forward to see where its evolved to, as opposed to looking backward,” said Tim Hale, Fossil’s senior vice president of communication and design. “We feel like a lot of our customers don’t understand how broad the brand has gotten.
“Historically we’re a watch company, but we’ve evolved as a fashion brand and come so far,” he said. “This is a huge opportunity for us and a key selling period for the year. We want to generate excitement at our points of sale.”
In addition to organizing in-store events, Fossil is rolling out its Vintage Revival campaign that celebrates key styles that first defined the brand in 1984. At the center of the campaign are a series of reissued watch styles resurrected from Fossil’s early history, such as the Paratrooper, Water Watch and Sundial.
The firm is also launching an addition to its e-commerce Web site called Fossil Finds. The section will house a group of special items, including vintage objects, books and fashion accessories selected by designers and art directors within the company. Among the items is an exclusive Gibson guitar, limited to 25 pieces, featuring the Fossil 25th anniversary seal on the pick guard and an antique starburst design. Other items include a 1996 Vespa scooter, which Fossil had pin-striped by hand, and a vintage Woodstock poster found at auction.
“We want to continue the idea that we could introduce boutique items on our site as a springboard opportunity and keep it up,” Hale said. “This is something our customer is interested in — finding unique, one-off items. We’re reinforcing the vintage statement about the brand to make sure people understand that we started out vintage-inspired and that’s what we’ve always been.”
In addition, Fossil is gearing up for its men’s and women’s shoe launch, hitting Fossil boutiques and department stores worldwide in August. The collections combine comfort with fashion and includes flats, boots, heels and wedges for women, while the men’s line features sport sneakers, casuals and dress classics. The line retails from $68 to $225.
“We wanted to capitalize on Fossil’s use of leather so the price value story we’re telling in addition to the design story is incredible,” said Justin Price, Fossil’s divisional merchandise manager for men’s & women’s footwear.
The company remains open to licensing new brands. Its roster of watch lines includes Burberry, DKNY, Emporio Armani and Diesel.