By  on March 23, 2011

LOS ANGELES — The hot new trend in premium denim isn’t aesthetic, but practical: a strong partnership with retailers.

Jeans makers are increasing efforts to work more closely with merchants and boost their marketing and branding presence on the sales floor. While vendors have always tried to cultivate good relationships with buyers, the tenor of their new initiatives has heightened amid weak sales in the challenging economy. Taking a more proactive approach, denim companies want to keep their spots on the competitive sales floor, where stores are kicking out brands that fail to sell.

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