When the going gets tough, Brand Resource Ltd. gets going.
The company, formed about two years ago by Charles Jebara, was created to launch new brands in the denim area.
"With the slowdown in the denim category, retailers are looking to reinvigorate the area," Jebara said. "By coming up with new brands, that is one way to make sure you have something fresh on the floor."
To begin, Jebara launched Z co., a young contemporary denim line that hit stores about a year ago. Now, after a successful freshman campaign, Jebara will add a knit top line for spring.
The Z co. look sits on the junior floor but has a contemporary flavor. There are clean, five-pocket, boot-cut styles; flares; straight legs; skinny legs, and wide legs available in a range of washes, from superlight to dark indigo. There is great attention to detail on the jeans, such as double-stitched seams, flap back pockets and subtle embellishments on some of the holiday styles. The jeans wholesale from $14.50 to $20 and are available in department and specialty stores nationwide.
"The Z co. customer is a bit on the older side, targeting that 16- to 18-year-old junior shopper," Jebara said.
To support the brand, Jebara has developed a marketing booklet that showcases photos of models wearing the jeans. He said this gives customers ideas on how to wear the jeans and the contemporary styling he is trying to get across. Jebara has also hired a team of designers who only work on Z co.
"In order to make sure each brand is successful, you have to run them like separate companies," he said.
By the end of 2008, Jebara said he expected to reach $30 million in sales with the Z co. label.
Next up for back-to-school, Jebara will launch a trendier junior denim brand called Tokyo 5. The brand consists of brightly colored jeans, high-waisted styles, highly embellished waistbands and extra-wide-leg styles.
"Tokyo 5 is for that funky, trendy girl who looks for louder styles in jeans," he said. "There's really a place for both of these brands on the junior floor."Although Jebara declined to give his expectations for first-year sales for the Tokyo 5 brand, he said he expected the brand eventually to be as large as Z co. Tokyo 5 wholesales for $13.50 to $17.
Jebara said he had several brand ideas in development, but would not rush to launch more labels until these two new brands were completely on target.
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