DENIM DISH

BLUES TRAUMA: When it comes to buying jeans, men have a harder time than women.
That’s according to a survey commissioned by VF Corp., which owns the Lee, Wrangler and Rider jeanswear brands. The survey polled 300 men and 100 women over the age of 18, and found that while men are more loyal to their brand, 74 percent of men take as many as four pairs of jeans into the dressing room at one time, compared with 53 percent of the women polled.
A third of men polled said they’d tried on up to 10 pairs at a time, and 5 percent of men admit to trying on more than 20 pairs of jeans at one time, versus 3 percent of women.
The survey found that jeanswear is increasingly infiltrating daily life in the U.S. and is not limited to weekend wear. One third of the people surveyed said they owned 10 or more pairs.
The preferred look for jeans is worn and lived in, according to the VF survey. Consumers repeatedly wash and dry, cut or bleach their denims to get the right look, and 4 percent said that they even use their jeans for housecleaning.
And according to the recently released “Soft Goods Outlook for 1996” by Kurt Salmon Associates, “jeans and other denim products for all genders and ages have been a tower of strength.” There has been some cooling off of late, KSA noted, “but this sector is expected to resume its long-term growth by the end of the year and into 1996. The study cites NPD Purchase Panel figures showing a 7.7 percent growth in women’s jeans unit sales for the 12 months through August, and KSA projects an 8 percent hike for the next 12 months.

PARENT’S NEW POST: Caroline Parent, senior designer for women’s wear jeans at Levi Strauss, has been named design director for the jeanswear manufacturer’s fashion-forward SilverTab label. Parent, who has been with the company since 1990, will oversee design and style direction on the division, which includes men’s, women’s and junior.
Parent said her goal is to “stay on the tip of the iceberg, but remain profitable.”

GV’S NEW GLO: The Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp., which manufactures jeanswear and related apparel, has opened a new division of junior denim sportswear under the label GLO.
The division will open for selling in January 1996 for back-to-school shipping and is targeted to department stores and junior specialty shops. First-year wholesale volume is estimated at $12 million.
GLO will include a core jeanswear group that will be on replenishment, along with fashion classifications such as related tops, bottoms, shirts, dresses and shorts. Wholesale prices range from $11.50 to $14.50 for jeans, $11.50 to $13.50 for casual bottoms, $5.50 to $12.50 for tops, $13.50 to $17.50 for dresses and jumpers and $17.50 to $24.50 for jackets.
The new division is headed by David Schulte, former vice president of sales at mass sportswear manufacturer Kikomo. He is vice president of the new division and reports to Jack Gross, president of Gloria Vanderbilt.
The launch will be supported with an ad campaign developed by the Laspata/DeCaro agency, as well as marketing, in-store fixtures and point-of-purchase visuals.

SUN CHANGE: Sun Apparel, the El Paso, Tex.-based jeanswear manufacturer, has done some internal restructuring. As a result, Clare Tassone, director of design for Sun, and Michelyn Camen, executive vice president of marketing and licensing, have left the company.
Sun Apparel owns the Code Bleu and X-Am names and holds the license for Todd Oldham, Sasson and Ralph Lauren jeanswear.
Pam Shimrak, vice president of sales and merchandising at Sun, has assumed Tassone’s responsibilities.
Deborah Sowray, who joined the company from Bonjour earlier this year as director of marketing and licensing, has assumed Camen’s responsibilities. She will oversee marketing for all of Sun’s brands and licensing for Code Bleu and X-Am. She will report to Eric Rothfeld, president of Sun. Camen said she is “pursuing other opportunities.” Tassone could not be reached for comment.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS: Rocky Mountain Clothing Co., Denver, women’s and men’s Western jeanswear manufacturer, has promoted Scott Lewis to vice president of sales. Lewis has been with the company four years, most recently as vice president of manufacturing. He will oversee the national and international sales force as well as customer service. Rocky Mountain Clothing is an affiliate of Miller International Inc.

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