LONDON FOG COURTS THE YOUNG AND THE ACTIVE
Byline: Dianne M. Pogoda
NEW YORK — London Fog is going after a younger crowd with the relaunch of its FOG label for outerwear and a new selection of active styles in its London Fog collection.
Active outerwear has been the most dynamic segment and has shown the most growth in outerwear over the past two seasons. After getting a good reaction to a small group in the London Fog line, the company decided to capitalize on the category for fall, said Andy Chesley, senior vice president of product.
It is trying to expand its reputation as a maker of updated outerwear, as well as classic trench coats, with major fall ad campaigns for each of the two brands.
The London Fog campaign, which will cost about $10 million over nearly three months this fall, emphasizes the importance of the company’s Microfill insulation and a new three-level protection system, rating the coats from 1 to 3 on warmth and water resistance. It features moody, black-and-white photography and will be in print and outdoor media, said Chesley.
These coats, jackets and anoraks have a new spectator, weekend feel, in contrast to the FOG group of functional performance outerwear. London Fog is priced to retail from about $140 to $200, slightly less than in previous seasons.
John Lloyd, vice president of women’s design, said the London Fog line features Polarfleece, microfiber, polyurethane-coated cotton and polyester, nylon-cotton blends, burnished metallic surfaces, real and fake fur trims, velvet trims, quilting and decorative and functional hardware. Many of the styles are reversible and versatile enough for the weekend and a casual workday, he added.
The FOG line, which, besides being part of the company’s name is also an acronym for Functional Outer Gear, adds a fourth level of protection and performance, and its graphic, color-coded hangtags rate the activity level for which they’re best suited.
The FOG label had been discontinued about three years ago. In this incarnation, the label is the same, but the collection has been redesigned in response to the growing appetite for active outerwear, Chesley said. It retails from $69 to $200; some coats are slightly higher if they contain Gore-Tex fabric.
“We identified a customer that we weren’t appealing to,” he added. “We feel we can attract that customer with this line, but it has to be merchandised and housed properly.”
A $2.5 million color campaign is aimed at consumers 22-25 years old and stresses more rugged outdoor activity, but still with a fashion tilt. The group ranges from lightweight, packable styles to heavy-duty outerwear. It uses more high tech fabrics and includes “systems” coats, which can be used as full jackets or separated into shells, vests or liners.
The company is developing a strategy of in-store areas in which to sell FOG. They could range from a single four-way rack with graphics to a full in-store shop.