PVH Sets Marketing Plan for Van Heusen Flex Collar Shirts

The product took nearly two years of research to create, but PVH Corp. is finally ready to throw its marketing muscle behind publicizing the Flex Collar dress shirt.

PVH worked with Talon International Inc. to develop the proprietary Tekfit stretch technology that allows collars to expand up to a half-inch without wrinkling or changing the collar structure.

David Sirkin, president of dress shirts for PVH Corp., said the shirts quietly hit department stores in June for Father’s Day and have had success at retail since then.

So for fall, PVH is planning a comprehensive marketing campaign around the product. This includes a commercial showing tight collar moments from classic movies and TV shows as well as digital shorts shot at MetLife Stadium featuring New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings, center Weston Richburg, linebacker Devon Kennard, defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins, tackle Justin Pugh and former Giant Jessie Armstead. The films show the players in humorous situations where more space means more comfort and will be shown on all PVH’s social media channels.

Longtime Van Heusen spokesmen Steve Young and Jerry Rice, along with former player Merril Hoge, will be used in print and online elements of the campaign as well as on point-of-sale materials.

The campaign will kick off on Sept. 17 on major networks and sports channels including DirecTV, AMC, CNN, FX and CBS.

The shirts sell for $5 more than a standard Van Heusen shirt, according to Sirkin, with out-the-door pricing of $29.99 versus $25.99 at retailers such as Macy’s, J.C. Penney and Kohl’s. Sirkin said since the product hit stores, there has been no price resistance and he believes the Flex Collar can eventually account more than 50 percent of the label’s business.

Although the technology is now available in only Van Heusen product, Sirkin said it may be added to other owned and licensed brands produced by PVH in the future. “We believe the Flex Collar is brand agnostic and every consumer wants stretch in his collar. We think it can be the next wrinkle-free and be used in every brand and every shirt,” Sirkin said.

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