Byline: Arthur Friedman
The outerwear industry has revived itself over the past two years by projecting an image that’s more casual and active than its heritage.
Leading the way in the outerwear/jackets category once again is London Fog, the active outerwear and rainwear maker that’s had its own rebirth this year.
Shedding itself of a problematic retail chain of 100-plus first-line stores and factory outlets, both of which weighted the firm with debt, London Fog emerged from bankruptcy in April with a healthy balance sheet and a new focus on product development and rebuilding its wholesale business.
The next three brands — L.L. Bean, Eddie Bauer and Lands’ End, respectively — have distinct similarities: all are catalog houses with a bent toward active and casual jackets at mainstream prices.
The licensing powerhouses take up four of the final six places. In fifth place is Liz Claiborne Coats, produced by the Levy Group, followed by number-seven Calvin Klein Coats, made by Fairbrooke Enterprises; eighth-place Bill Blass Coats, by Rose Cloak & Suit Co., and number-nine Anne Klein Coats, a division of Herman Kay Bromley.
Number six, Nautica, doesn’t actually have an outerwear division, but makes jackets in its jeans division, Nautica Jeans Co. The casual outdoors is the signature of number-10 Pendleton, which traces its roots back more than a century.
Outerwear Top 10
1. London Fog Rainwear and Outerwear
2. L.L. Bean
3. Eddie Bauer
4. Lands’ End
5. Liz Claiborne Coats
7. Calvin Klein Coats
8. Bill Blass Coats
9. Anne Klein Coats