It’s been almost a year-and-a-half since Nautica Enterprises Inc. acquired the Earl Jean brand, and the denim line is getting ready to turn up the promotional volume.
The company is launching its first advertising campaign this fall, concurrent with the rollout of men’s apparel and accessories.
"We waited a while to do a lot of things with the company," said Joe Krafka, whom Nautica named president of Earl in October, succeeding Ben Freiwald, who co-founded the company six years ago. "Now we have built the name and we are ready to communicate that it is not just a passing trend."
The fall ads broke in the September issue of Interview magazine and will roll out to October issues of Ocean Drive, Gotham and L.A. Confidential. The ad will remain only in these regional publications until the spring season, when the company will launch a full national campaign in a wider variety of consumer magazines. Krafka said he also plans to support the ads inside Earl’s U.S. boutiques and in Japan. According to Krafka, the Los Angeles-based firm also plans to open a new store in London, which will be its first freestanding shop in Europe.
"All the details of the spring ads and the London store are in the works, but as we continue to expand our women’s collection and launch men’s, you will see more than just the jeans in the campaign," he said. "You will also see the accessories: belts, shoes, bags, which are in stores for the fall and are already doing well."
As far as future growth goes for the brand, Krafka said he is open to expanding distribution outside of the U.S.
"I realize the international distribution opportunities for the brand," he said. "I am sure we can go further with that since we are already performing well overseas."
Building the Buz
Buz Jones Jeans, a New York-based jeans brand licensed by Gals New York, has added four new sales positions to its staff.
Michelle Rowe has been named national sales manager at the company. She will oversee day-to-day sales activities of both the men’s and women’s apparel lines. Most recently, Rowe was senior account executive at Moschino. She reports to Monique Buzy-Pucheu, owner of the company.Anja Michals has been appointed women’s East Coast account executive for Buz Jones women’s division. Most recently, Michals was an account executive at Hippie Jeans and BCBG.
Steven Ellingson joined the company as West Coast regional sales manager for men’s and women’s Buz Jones Jeans. Prior to joining the one-and-a-half-year-old company, Ellingson was regional manager for Diesel and Ben Sherman.
David Gorelick was promoted to the position of men’s East Coast account executive. Before this promotion, Gorelick worked as a sales assistant at Buz Jones, where he has been for seven months.
Michals, Ellingson and Gorelick report to Rowe. All four started with the company late last month.
The Buz Jones Jeans collection is designed by Buzy-Pucheu, a denim and sportswear designer. The line is licensed by Gals New York, a manufacturer and wholesale marketer of private label apparel for women, men and children. Besides Buz Jones, Gals hold the licenses for Christian Lacroix, Cerruti and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac children’s collections.
Buzy-Pucheu called the new hires "a solid group of professionals with proven talent and leadership….The new sales team, combined with our strong design and manufacturing, will enhance and support our existing customer base and help build new relationships."
The backers of the YM MegaDenim fashion show — a grouping of jeans brands that show together during New York Fashion Week — have set the lineup for this months’ staging of the event.
The second edition of the show will feature styles from Guess, Dollhouse and Mavi Jeans, as well as returning participants Levi’s and Steven Hardy for Squeeze.
"Obviously, denim is the fabric of choice among teens and we felt it was important to have an opportunity for people to see these brands who don’t show on their own," said YM publisher Laura McEwen, who noted that each line will be showing a special collection for the show, not just its regular spring lineup.
Darren Greenblatt, a principal in O&D Productions, which produces the show, said: "YM MegaDenim provides editors and buyers an…opportunity to view the latest offerings from the top denim brands out there."The show is planned for 11 a.m., Sept. 23, at the Theater in Bryant Park.
Participants were selected by YM based on their advertising in the magazine and financial contributions to the show. Matrix and Jane Cosmetics have signed on as official beauty sponsors of the event.
YM MegaDenim was conceived a year ago, but the fall 2001 edition was cancelled along with the rest of that 7th on Sixth calendar on and after Sept. 11. The spring edition featured Levi’s, Todd Oldham Jeans, Steven Hardy for Squeeze and a group of designers sponsored by DuPont.
Innovo Takes a Bow Wow
The ranks of pop stars lending their names to jeans and sportswear lines continues to grow. Innovo Group Inc., which produces the Joe’s Jeans line, said Tuesday that its Innovo Azteca Apparel division had signed a licensing agreement to produce Lil’ Bow Wow apparel and accessories.
The 14-year-old rapper, who last year released the album "Doggy Bag," also starred in the summer movie release "Like Mike," which was about a diminutive basketball player with unexpected jumping abilities.
"The appeal of Lil’ Bow Wow is global," said Innovo chief executive officer Jay Furrow. "We look forward to incorporating his positive presence and visibility into a very successful apparel and accessory line."
The licensing deal between Los Angeles-based Innovo Azteca, master agent Bravado International Group and LBW Entertainment, allows Innovo to market boys’ and girls’ apparel and accessories products to all distribution channels and gives it the right of first refusal on other product categories.
As reported, Innovo’s first-half sales were $10.1 million, more than triple what they’d been in 2001. The company recorded a $289,000 net loss for the period ended June 1, compared with a $62,000 loss a year earlier.
Diesel’s Bloomingdale’s Renovations
The folks at Diesel seem to be taking their "Diesel Planet" slogan quite seriously.
Last week, Bloomingdale’s East 59th Street New York flagship unveiled a renovated 1,300-square-foot Diesel corner in its men’s area featuring the vintage furniture, green color and spartan merchandise display typically seen at the company’s retail boutiques. Diesel officials said it’s the most creative they’ve ever been allowed to be in a shop-in-shop, and Andreas Kurz, chief executive of Diesel USA Inc., said he hopes the company will be able to take a similar approach in its women’s shops."Our business is 50-50, so there is no reason why we shouldn’t be able to do the same idea in women’s," he said. He added that there’s one key thing he thinks would convince Bloomingdale’s or any other retailer to allow it to conduct a similar remodeling: "The best persuasion is sell-through and performance in department stores. You have to make your sales per square foot."
"This is a major renovation," said Kal Ruttenstein, senior vice president for fashion direction at Bloomingdale’s. He said an updating of Diesel’s women’s space "hasn’t been discussed, but it certainly is possible."
He added that he expects to be able to boost sales at the remodeled shop 30 to 50 percent from previous levels — a goal that will be key, since the new space is 300 square feet larger than Diesel’s pervious shop at the store, which is catty-corner to the brand’s U.S. headquarters. He did not disclose the brand’s volume at that Bloomingdale’s location, though the brand racked up $92.6 million in total U.S. sales last year, with about half that coming from wholesale accounts, including Bloomingdale’s.
Ruttenstein emphasized that while bringing an apparel brands’ imagery into the store has a value, Bloomingdale’s first priority is maintaining the store’s image.
"We work with vendors and take their input," he said. "But the Bloomingdale’s image is always the most important element in a redesign."
Breaking News: @louisvuitton's men's artistic director @mrkimjones is leaving the French fashion house after nearly 7 years. Jones joined Louis Vuitton in 2011, following a three year tenure as creative director of British luxury goods brand Alfred Dunhill. Jones is to exit Louis Vuitton after showing his fall 2018 collection for the brand in Paris on Thursday. Read the full exclusive story on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
For men’s fall 2018, @giuseppezanotti drew on elements from streetwear, sport, biker, combat and rock ‘n’ roll. Pictured here are a pair of shoes from the collection, featuring zippers, rhinestones, and silver hardware. Head to WWD.com to see a roundup of the accessories from Milan’s men’s fall 2018 shows. #wwdfashion (📷: Andrea Delb)
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of @ralphlauren’s snowboarding collection, the brand is mining its archives. The iconic brand is reintroducing vintage styles and dropping new designs for a color capsule that will be available in Ralph Lauren stores and @openingceremony on January 25. The capsule will consist of 10 pieces, including the Snow Beach Pullover, pictured here, which is a collector’s item that rapper Raekwon wore in Wu-Tang Clan’s “Can It Be All So Simple” video. #wwdfashion (📷: Tom Gould)
For @rochasofficial’s pre-fall 2018 collection, creative director Alessandro Dell’Acqua channeled the sophisticated and intriguing Catherine Denevue in the film “Belle de Jour.” Polished collarless coats, midi skirts, suits and ’60s graphic motifs were all featured in the collection, adding a sense of discreet luxury. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion
“We tried to produce clothing of that couture quality, but the most daunting part was that we only had a matter of days [to do it],” said costume designer Lou Eyrich, who recreated Gianni Versace’s iconic looks for @americancrimestoryfx. Eyrich searched online retailers and vintage shops for original pieces from the design house and for @penelopecruzoficial, who plays Donatella Versace. Head to WWD.com to read how she created the Versace world. #wwdfashion
Only three months after her stellar debut catwalk season, @kaiagerber has inked her first big design collaboration –– with @karllagerfeld. The collection blends Lagerfeld’s Parisian chic aesthetic and the model’s signature West Coast casual style via RTW, accessories, footwear and more. The #KarlLagerfeldxKaia collection will launch in September with a series of events. Get all the details on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
Harrods plans to remove the famous statue of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed from the bottom of the Egyptian escalators and hand it back to Mohamed Al-Fayed. “We are very proud to have played our role in celebrating the lives of Diana, Princess of Wales and Dodi Al Fayed at Harrods and to have welcomed people from around the world to visit the memorial for the past 20 years,” said Michael Ward, Harrods managing director. “With the announcement of the new official memorial statue to Diana, Princess of Wales at Kensington Palace, we feel that the time is right to return this memorial to Mr. Al Fayed and for the public to be invited to pay their respects at the palace.” More on the news, with reporting by @loreleimarfil, at WWD.com. #wwdnews