Orange Clothing Co. is embracing Hispanic culture and traditions as it tailors marketing to the fastest-growing consumer segment in the U.S.
The Miami-based young men’s firm targets the Hispanic consumer with distinctive elements such as Web site messages to Spanish and English-speaking shoppers, as well as blogs, Facebook and MySpace pages in the two languages, e-mail blasts to Hispanic customers and sponsorship of Mixed Martial Arts, a sport rising in popularity among Latin fans.
The company’s specialty marketing tools include hangtags attached to garments by wooden rosary beads, and patches depicting images of the Virgin Mary sewn into apparel and protected by patents and trademarks.
“Customers appreciate special features like that, and that’s one of the things that sets us apart,” said Michelle Schucher, director of marketing.
The company, founded in 1999, features six lines, including top seller Revolución, with its jeans and woven shirts selling at Macy’s, Lord & Taylor and specialty stores across the U.S. In addition, Imperio Latino, or “Latin Empire,” a line of colorful T-shirts, is sold at retailers such as J.C. Penney and Kohl’s, and Limon y Sal, or “Lemon and Salt,” which includes T-shirts, tops, shorts and hoodies, is available at Kmart, among other stores.
The firm’s Fast Boarding, Crue Boarding and Red brands for the skate and surf markets are sold at specialty shops and major retailers, including Macy’s, Wal-Mart, J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Kmart.
Founder and president Scott Deutsch said in the three years since Orange Clothing introduced fashions aimed at Hispanic consumers the category has grown to 35 percent of the almost $20 million annual volume.
“I look for niche businesses where there are few players in the market, and realized in my own backyard [Miami, where Hispanics constitute more then 65 percent of the population], I was surrounded by my customer,” he said.
The strategies Orange Clothing uses could serve as a blueprint for firms seeking to carve out business in the Hispanic market, which almost doubled its purchasing power to $951 billion last year compared with 2000, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business. The center estimated that by 2013 Hispanic-Americans will have purchasing power of $1.4 trillion.
The Orange Clothing approach is “not something they had to learn; it’s something they live,” said Cynthia Cohen, president of Strategic Mindshare, a marketing consultant who has worked with the firm.
In a new partnership with Macy’s, the company for fall will introduce 15-second promotional spots for its product before movies in Hispanic-area theaters, with poster-board signs in lobbies.
The brand was a sponsor of the 2009 Latin Grammy Awards, offering T-shirts and drawstring bags in gift bags for nominees and winners, and outfits the bands Locos por Juana and Los Primeros. The groups also appear in photo shoots on Revolución’s Web page, where Orange Clothing is promoting a $500 cash-prize contest using the line’s stencil as the basis for “the most visually creative graffiti art you can come up with” that keeps the logo and Web address visible.
Graphic tops and distressed jeans and woven shirts by Revolución have roots in several Spanish-speaking nations, with hangtags reading: “Hecho por Latinos, para Latinos,” or “Made for Latins, by Latins.” T-shirts sell at retail for about $38; jeans, $60; woven shirts, $59, and polo shirts, $45.
Revolución asks Hispanic consumers to “Come join our family,” Schucher said. “We give them something they can call their own. They know we make and design this especially for them, because we also are the Hispanic customer.”
The Limon y Sal and Imperio Latino lines “blend streetwear fashion with Latin flair,” Schucher said.
Limon y Sal sells at retail for $12 to $25, and the Imperio collection retails for $16 to $45.
Orange Clothing introduces new styles four times a year. “Hispanic customers don’t want simple, basic merchandise,” Schucher said. “Everything is big to them: Their families are big, their ideas are big and you see that concept across our entire collection.”
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast