NEW YORK — Charles Jebara is taking junior denim brand Z Co. into the world of online retailing.
Jebara, founder of Brand Resource Ltd., which owns the label, is looking to capitalize on the brand's stronger-than-anticipated performance last year with the introduction of an Internet store in May.
"As tough as the overall business was in '07, we had a great year," said Jebara. "Part of our overall plan going forward is to punch up our online presence."
Jebara isn't letting concerns about a weakening retail environment rattle his confidence. In July, he estimated Z Co. would generate $30 million in sales. However, after a strong finish to 2007, he predicted the brand will far exceed his initial estimate.
"We're going to blow that away this year," he said. "We're looking at $50 million for 2008."
While any additional sales generated through the Web site will be welcome, Jebara said the brand stands to gain the most by using it as a marketing tool and proving ground for new product. It's a strategy he thinks better addresses the target 16- to 18-year-old market and changing nature of advertising.
"We don't believe in traditional advertising," he said. "I think 10 years ago, if you were in the juniors business, you needed to advertise in the junior teen magazines."
However, the proliferation of celebrity weeklies such as Us Weekly and In Touch has eaten into the teen magazine demographic, said Jebara, weakening their impact on the Z Co. consumer. It's also more difficult than ever to stand out among the crowd by going with traditional marketing.
"I feel like we get lost out there and I don't think that's what drives a junior customer to buy a jean," he said.
Z Co. is sold in about 4,000 department and specialty stores across the U.S., and the brand is already working with several online retailers. Jebara hopes to avoid damaging those relationships and cannibalizing the company's sales by offering exclusive styles on the site. He plans to offer links that will allow customers to purchase products from the brand's other online retail partners.The site will also test new products. Jebara said that, if one of the exclusive styles begins to take off online, he would have no problem offering the style to the brand's retailers.
"The more interest we generate in our brand and our product, I think our customers will benefit greatly," he said. "It's going to be a limited business and it could prove to be a great testing ground for retailers, as well. We'll be happy to share that with our retailers."
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye