BOGNER PUTS FASHION FIRST

Byline: Rosemary Feitelberg

NEW YORK — Bogner has taken to the streets for design inspiration for its fall line.
Having reduced its offerings by 20 percent from last fall, the brand best known for its skiwear is serving up more sportswear-inspired looks. Embroidered ski pants, a dark denim-looking ski suit with wide pants cuffs, body-hugging jackets and an ensemble in a cowhide print are some of the new looks.
“This is not really a change in image. We want to bring attention to our roots of integrating fashion and function,” said Neal Bermas, president of Bogner America. “Our retail partners also suggested moving in this direction.”
The company’s founder, Rosemary Bogner, invented stretch ski pants, which Webster’s Dictionary referred to for many years as “the Bogner pant,” Bermas noted.
Fall bestsellers include embroidered ski pants and items in bright colors such as orange and pink, Bermas said. This year the company is planning for a 25 percent gain. The strategy is helping to increase distribution in existing accounts such as Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s, as well as at specialty ski stores like Gorsuch, he added.
“We’re being much more sensitive to what the market is telling us. We’re also analyzing the market independently of our retail partners,” Bermas said. “Retail customers want us to make things smarter. The brilliance in part still sits with our designers in Munich, who offer a global perspective.”
The brand’s opening price has been lowered to appeal to a wider range of customers. Retail prices range from $90 for a turtleneck to $5,000 for an embroidered ski jacket.

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