For its fall launch, VF Corp.’s Lee brand is positioning its collection of jeans, khakis and chinos toward consumers seeking comfort as well as style.

The execution also involves marrying the latest technology in textiles with functional design elements — such as comfortable, inner linings on stretch jeans that cover fasteners. The result is a pair of jeans that can serve double or even triple duty by allowing consumers to wear it at work, then at the gym and then dancing at the club.

Kim Yates, vice president of marketing at Lee Jeans, said its fall designers were “built on the idea that clothing needs to allow you to move through life freely. At Lee, we have a passion for creating pieces that enable life in motion, all while looking stylish and feeling great.”

At a recent press preview, a Lee designer told WWD the collection was informed by consumers who not only live more active lives, but by increasingly more consumers who desire comfortable apparel without sacrificing style.

The fall collection includes a Modern Series Bootcut and Dream Jean Midrise Fit Skinny Leg for women as well as an Essential Chino. For men, the launch features a Modern Series Slim Fit, Athletic Fit and X-treme Comfort Khaki.

Price points on the collection were not released. Distribution will be through its global direct-to-consumer Web site as well as through the brand’s retail partners.

From a financial perspective, the Lee business has performed well for VF Corp. amid a sagging global apparel market. In its first quarter report, the company said revenue for the Lee brand increased 1 percent over the prior year. On a currency neutral basis, the gain was 4 percent. In the Americas’ region, sales showed “low single-digit growth” or a midsingle digit gain excluding currency translations.

In Europe, sales growth was in the mid-single-digit range or high single-digit on a currency neutral basis. In Asia, the brand experienced a low single-digit decrease, or a midsingle-digit gain excluding the currency impact. The company said operating income for its jeanswear business (to include Wrangler) rose 4 percent to $137 million, “with a 40 basis point increase in operating margin to 19.3 percent.”


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