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.
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)
Breaking News: @hedislimane joins @celine as its new artistic, creative and image director. One of fashion’s preeminent image-makers and trendsetters, Slimane is to join the LVMH brand on Feb. 1 and unveil his first fashion proposition for men and women next September during Paris Fashion Week. It marks a major homecoming for Slimane, who cemented his reputation – and influenced men’s tailoring for more than a decade – as the designer of Dior Homme between 2000 and 2007. He went on to reinvent and ignite the house of Yves Saint Laurent, which he rechristened Saint Laurent, between 2012 and 2016 – all the while maintaining a close relationship with the Arnault family, which controls LVMH and Dior. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
“Personally I believe the Eighties have been the richest and more vivacious period for international fashion,” Giorgio Armani said when asked what his favorite decade of fashion is. It was a moment of disruption and experimentation and only thinking back to the first years of that decade is always an emotion for me, for what they have meant to me and my work.” The influence is clear in @giorgioarmani spring 2018 collection, pictured here, which was full of bright colors and unexpected prints. Read more about which decades designers loved most on WWD.com #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
For Lady Gaga’s only Italian show on her “Joanne World Tour,” the singer wore a range of @versace_official outfits. The standout piece: this custom-made bodysuit inspired by the brand’s spring 2018 collection. #wwdfashion (RG: @ladygaga)
@_camillaruth_ is expanding on the wellness-craze concept with @westbourne – a new NYC restaurant that’s both a healthy-minded café as well as a business that gives back to the community. Marcus works with the Robin Hood foundation to give back to The Door, a non-profit providing youth development services, and also hires employees through The Door. Read our full interview with Marcus on giving back through food on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)