For the first time in the 11 WWD100 surveys dating to 1993, London Fog did not place fi rst on the list of most-recognized outerwear brands. That position goes to L.L. Bean, which knocked London Fog to number two.
Based in Freeport, Maine, Bean has been fastening its ties to consumers beyond its mail order business and freestanding stores. A paddle sports festival, summer concerts, outdoor discovery schools and a cobranded Subaru SUV are among the many marketing initiatives being used to try to connect with shoppers beyond straight-out purchases. Aside from opening its second store in Chicago this year, the company has already signed up to be part of Freeport Village Station, a commercial development under construction in its hometown.
Founded in 1912 by Leon Leonwood Bean, the company has grown from a one-man operation to a global organization with annual sales of $1.5 billion. At the end of May, Bean announced it was dropping Bank of America as holder of L.L. Bean Visa card accounts and has started processing applications for new cards through an as-yet-unnamed bank. On another front, the Outdoor Channel will add “L.L. Bean’s Guide to the Outdoors” to the network’s third-quarter 2008 programming lineup. Avid outdoorsman Bill Gorman, the great-grandson of L.L. Bean, and Tim Rajeff, world-renowned master fl y fi sherman, will cohost the program and feature hunting and fishing footage from around the world.
London Fog, meanwhile, is still finding its footing, after being acquired in a bankruptcy court-sponsored auction by the Iconix Fashion Group in 2006 for $30.5 million in cash and $7 million in Iconix stock. Through a new joint venture, Silas Chou and Iconix chief executive offi cer Neil Cole have teamed up to court the Chinese middle class with Iconix China. Iconix has contributed $5 million to the venture and the Chinese rights to its brands, which include Op, London Fog, Joe Boxer and Candie’s.
Iconix has also been staffi ng up to build its labels domestically and all around the globe. Late last year Kimberly Lee Minor joined Iconix as vice president of brand management, overseeing the company’s London Fog, Joe Boxer and Rampage brands. She quickly lined up the brand’s first handbag license, which bows this fall.
Lands’ End, Eddie Bauer, Columbia and Nautica ranked third through sixth, respectively, for the second consecutive year.
Lands’ End, which is owned by Sears, has managed to be a bright spot for the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based merchant. During the retailer’s annual meeting in May, chairman Edward S. Lampert noted the Lands’ End brand saw record profi ts in 2007 and was expanded to 100 Sears stores. He did not break out sales figures.
After a successful introduction in 2006, Sears Canada plans to expand its offering of Lands’ End apparel by adding it to more of its 197 department stores in Canada and 183 dealer-owned locations. It was initially introduced in four stores.
This year, Eddie Bauer said it had redesigned its Web site “to create an online experience that delivers the ease and interactivity of shopping at one of its stores.” For more than two years, Eddie Bauer has been collecting feedback from hundreds of customers to rebuild the site. The revamped site enables customers to choose items without losing their place, zoom in for details and check product availability in real time.
In this year’s survey, The North Face leaped to the seventh place from 10th in 2007. In the fi rst quarter of this year, the company saw site traffi c increase thanks to a new widget that lets online visitors post their own and The North Face-produced videos to other sites.
“At the start, it makes people a little bit nervous, especially traditional marketers — putting your content somewhere that you don’t totally control,” said Sarah Gallagher, online manager of The North Face. However, the widget proved to be an effective traffic generator, driving conversion rates up to four times higher than average.
Kenneth Cole dropped one slot to eighth. This spring, Kenneth Cole Productions Inc. poached Liz Claiborne Inc.’s Jill Granoff as ceo. Granoff, Claiborne’s executive vice president of direct brands, will take over day-today responsibilities for the 25-year-old Cole brand from Kenneth Cole, who has relinquished his career-long ceo title but will continue as chairman and chief creative officer.
Liz Claiborne Coats and Jones New York were ninth and 10th, respectively, in this year’s survey. Claiborne, which is in the midst of a massive corporate restructuring, maintained its ranking from last year, but Jones New York fell from eighth.
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews