Fresh from its Urban Outfitters partnership in February that included singer and songwriter Tinashe, Juicy Couture now has a new goal in mind — expanding into the men’s market through the relaunch of the Dirty English brand.
According to Nick Woodhouse, president and chief marketing officer for Authentic Brands Group, which owns the Juicy Couture brand, the Dirty English by Juicy Couture line initially will be comprise of a capsule collection of 15 stockkeeping units. “The placement will be globally in all the stores and in wholesale doors in the U.S. and Europe,” Woodhouse said.
Juicy used the Dirty English label years ago for a small fragrance launch in Europe. ABG, a brand management firm, acquired Juicy Couture’s intellectual property assets in October 2013 for $195 million. Woodhouse said they’ve already polled retailers on the Dirty English name to get some feedback on how it would resonate as a men’s brand targeting Millennials. As for the product line, he described it as “David Beckham-ish; it has attitude and is fashion-forward. This line is for the well-groomed guy who wants to wear Juicy, but under a masculine brand [name].”
Under ABG’s oversight, Juicy is having success as a revived brand in the marketplace. The company in 2016 launched its #TrackisBack campaign, which celebrated the brand’s 21-year history.
Woodhouse attributed the success of the revival to the brand’s authenticity, and the fact that it was the first in the now popular ath-leisure space. The brand is in over 400 doors in the U.S., including specialty stores and the department store channel. It’s also in many doors in the U.K., such as through Amazon, Topshop and online marketplace Asos.com. Actual points of distribution total over 25,000 in 94 countries across women’s and girls’ lifestyle categories that include apparel, accessories, jewelry, footwear and fragrance. Wholesale accounts globally include Bloomingdale’s; Topshop; Urban Outfitters; Amazon; Selfridges; Harrods; Palacio, and Hankyu. Juicy also has a presence in new markets, such as India, Africa and Azerbaijan.
Global Brands Group Holding Ltd., the wholesale branded business of Li & Fung Ltd., handles the manufacturing of apparel for most categories. It has now taken over the wholesale distribution in Europe. GBG also has the license for accessories and handbags. Folli Follie Group has the distribution rights for Greece, Cyprus, Romania and Bulgaria. The initial plan will be for a bigger push into the U.K. market through the efforts of GBG.
According to Woodhouse, much of the success has been the assists from social influencers and tastemakers. The company has also worked on promotions around Coachella, as well as other social events. Behati Prinsloo, a model and influencer, designed an exclusive capsule collection in 2016. For spring, Juicy collaborated with Vetements, the Paris-based design collective, which was showcased during Paris Fashion Week. The company said the line has been selling out at Vetements’ retail channels that include Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Dover Street Market. Then there’s the recent Urban Outfitters collaboration, as well as the limited-edition collaboration with Disney and Swarovski for a track jacket capsule. The Urban Outfitters collection is priced at $28 to $169.
While ABG has been relying on style influencers for its women’s business, it will take a different tack when marketing its new men’s line. “Millennial men are different from Millennial women. Influencers are helpful for the women’s business, but for Millennial men, it’s more about feeding the product to the right tastemakers. It’s about them wearing the product and whether there’s a key endemic relationship with either music or sports,” Woodhouse said.
Marketing to a group of consumers who are more digitally savvy than their older counterparts requires a shift in the marketing mind-set, he added.
“In the past, marketing was famous for photo shoots, print ads and expensive fashion shows….Today it’s about eyeballs on the screen. Are you capturing those eyeballs? What is the compelling content?” Woodhouse said.
For the younger crowd, video on demand is a necessity, with commercials more compelling than television. “We too watch all the trends. Wherever their eyeballs go, we will gravitate — we pivot and move all the time,” he said.
Juicy Couture was founded in 1995 by Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy and was acquired by the former Liz Claiborne Inc. in 2003. Liz Claiborne, as known as Fifth & Pacific when it sold the brand to ABG, is now known as Kate Spade & Co.
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