Incotex is chasing the luxury market downhill with its new ivory label, a collection of trimmer, less-expensive wool and cotton pants.
This story first appeared in the December 12, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Incotex is known as the Rolls-Royce of the trouser classification business with pants that start at $345 and a tight wholesale network of high-end specialty and department stores.
But parent company Slowear, the Venetian-based enterprise owned by Marzio and Roberto Compagno, hopes to tap growing demand for slimmer-fitting dress pants — a market that he said is overlooked.
“Collections speak to the younger man, but their fit changes constantly,” Marzio Compagno said at the company’s Manhattan showroom this week. “But we want to offer a product that will be consistent, reliable and more price sensitive.”
The ivory label will be produced in Portugal and will share sartorial details with the company’s signature, high-end heritage line, including skirted waists. The model, however, will be trimmer with a thinner waist, higher rise and more narrow leg. The construction in the waistband will be softer.
The trouser classification has long awaited the return of the younger consumer to its classic, if fusty, aisles. And trousers appear to be on an upswing. Compagno pointed to Paul Smith and Etro as resources that offer solid contemporary dress pants on the collections side. Vertical retailers such as Club Monaco, Banana Republic and H&M also have made trim tailored clothing, including trousers, a priority in their assortments.
But the trouser classification in department stores — marked by voluminous, pleated pants and traditional patterns — is ripe for an update. “We make dad’s pants, historically,” Compagno. “Now we want to make the son’s.”
Available in American and the more-European trim fit, the ivory line will consist of dress wools, dress cottons and casual cottons that will open at $245. The line will launch in the fall exclusively in the U.S.
Incotex’s new venture might be closely watched by other luxury brands, whose businesses have slumped as consumers limit spending. The ivory label remains pricy, but, at $100 less than the heritage line, will open the brand to new, larger retail accounts such as Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s. The heritage line is carried at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and a few better specialty stores.
“This is an opportunity for us to reach more people,” Compagno said.