“I couldn’t do another picture of another hot model laying there in a pair of jeans.”
That was part of Trey Laird’s explanation of the inspiration behind the DKNY Jeans spring ad campaign, which features a stylized mob of 25 screaming groupies.
Laird, Donna Karan’s executive vice president and corporate creative director, said the idea came to him while trying to make his way through a crowd of music fans in New York’s Times Square, outside the studio where MTV’s “Total Request Live” program is filmed. He looked at the star-struck teens and realized that many of them represented the same audience DKNY Jeans is targeting.
“You always see all these campaigns focused on the celebrities, but you never see campaigns focused on the fans,” he explained. “The people we are trying to speak to are the people who swoon over celebrities on magazine covers.”
The ads will run in the March and April editions of magazines, including Vogue, Vanity Fair, Teen People, Teen Vogue, Cosmo Girl, Seventeen and TM. Laird said the DKNY Jeans’ ad budget is up 10 percent this year, but declined to reveal how much the company was spending on the campaign.
While the company dressed models as groupies for the ads, and had photographer Mikael Jansson shoot the campaign at a Manhattan-looking set at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, Laird contended the ads still have a realistic look.
He said after the models came out of their changing rooms, “You couldn’t tell the difference between when they were styled and when they weren’t.”
To convey the feeling of teen hysteria, Laird said that on the shoot he offered a shopping spree to the first model who managed to summon tears at the appearance of their imagined idols. The one who did may have soon found a real reason to feel the blues — the shopping spree was for one pair of jeans.
Mixed Checks for Denim Execs
The pay picture changed for a couple of top denim-mill chief executives in 2000, according to proxy statements recently filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The head of Burlington Industries saw his compensation drop after the company declined to award bonuses, while the top brass at Galey & Lord did a little better after the company’s margins improved.
George Henderson, chairman and ceo of Burlington, saw his pay slip 3.1 percent, to $606,800. That included his $600,000 in base pay — up $5,000 from last year — and $6,800 in other retirement benefits. Henderson received no bonus for the year ended Sept. 30, which saw the Greensboro, N.C.-based company’s results fall $523.7 million into the red. That net loss included the company’s write-off of all goodwill associated with the business — a charge of $554.5 million.
The company’s new president and chief operating officer, Douglas McGregor, was paid $453,116 for his first three months on the job, including $175,000 in base pay, an $87,500 bonus and $190,626 in stock awards. The company also set his 2001 base salary at $525,000, and upped Henderson’s base to $630,000.
The story was quite different at Galey, where chairman, president and ceo Arthur Wiener saw his compensation more than double, to $1.31 million.
The year ended Sept. 30 saw Galey report a net loss of $38.3 million, largely due to costs related to the company’s decision to stop spinning its own yarn and to close an outdated denim plant. Excluding those charges, the company would have swung back into the black — it said that its income then would have been $3.2 million, compared with an $11 million loss a year ago.
Wiener’s boost came largely from a $525,006 bonus in 2000, after receiving no bonus in 1999. His base pay was $625,002 and he received $163,325 in other compensation.
Greensboro-based Galey also disclosed in its proxy that Jose de Jesus Valdez, president of the Mexican chemicals maker Alpek, has been nominated for election to Galey’s board. Alpek operates a joint-venture polyester business with DuPont.
Lee’s ER Run
Lee jeans has signed actress Maura Tierney, of the television drama ER, to appear in its spring print ad campaign for the Riveted by Lee brand.
The campaign, called “The Lowdown on Maura Tierney,” shows the star wearing the low-rise Riveted jeans in everyday situations — walking her dog or relaxing at home.
Kathy Collins, vice president of marketing of Lee Co., based in Merriam, Kan., said the company chose Tierney to model its jeans because “she’s an energetic, confident woman who appreciates a style that can keep up with her on-the-go life.”
The ads are scheduled to appear in publications including Glamour, Vogue, Self and Mademoiselle.
Basking in the Glo
Gloria Vanderbilt’s junior line Glo is not arriving in stores until next month, but already retailers are evaluating the company’s expansion into new territory.
At the brand’s launch party last week at Manhattan’s Lotus nightclub, Dave Beck, a buyer with Dayton, Ohio-based department store chain Elder-Beerman Stores, said he does not think Gloria Vanderbilt — traditionally a misses’ brand — will encounter any resistance from junior customers.
“I don’t think it will be a problem because the customer knows the name,” said Beck, who added he intends to view the Glo line later this month at the showroom. “It will work, since the line is different and juniors don’t want to be associated with misses.”
Robinsons-May misses buyer Kristin Keyes added, “I saw the Glo line and it was great. I was skeptical about it since they do misses, but they’ve produced a great line.”
Gary Grossblatt, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of ready-to-wear at Sterns, said “the combination between the brand, the design and the product make it a worthwhile venture.”
Gloria Vanderbilt Apparel Corp. president Jack Gross said the party — which attracted more than 300 guests, according to a spokeswoman — was also held to recognize the company’s achievements over the past year.
“We’re celebrating the best year of the company,” said Gross. “We focused on building a brand, as opposed to being a transaction-oriented company…the consumer acceptance has been higher than ever.”
Gloria Vanderbilt’s vice president of design, Julie Tung, said the company’s entry into the junior market is just the beginning: “We want to see success in junior wear and then branch out into men’s wear and careerwear.”