Eddie Bauer is going back to its original roots by hiring mountaineer legend Jim Whittaker for insight on its expedition outerwear. The goal is to revive the brands sense of adventure and produce better performing products. Also to move away from its focus on indoor casual apparel in hopes of a big comeback.
When conservative companies hire athletes as design consultants they take a pronounced risk. In my opinion it is a great way to get the inside scoop on athletic apparel. Athletes know best what works and what does not. Brands that hire designers who live and breathe the brand are more successful.
Eddie Bauer’s new line of apparel will be put to the test when their new collection is launched in 2009. Their goal is to sell $450 per square foot, which is far from their $260 per square foot from last year. If sales increase for Eddie Bauer, these types of partnerships may become a more common occurrence. HANNA
Posted in Advertising, Apparel, Athletes, Brands, Celebrity, Creativity, Customers, Fashion, Innovative, Menswear, Natalia, Natalia Allen, Performance Gear
Tagged Design, Design Futurist, Fashion, Natalia
MacGregor Golf is a 100 year old golf company, one with a new CEO. Michael J. Setola shares with us his vision and strategy for keeping the innovative brand strong.
NATALIA: Please give folks a bit of insight as to what your role entails.
Michael: As CEO of MacGregor, my primary role is to manage the investments and direction of the company. As it relates to product, inventory is our largest investment, so I keep a keen eye on product and product development.
NATALIA: How did you first become interested in fashion?
Michael: Funny story, but my first job was with Hanes Underwear. I was selling boxers and white briefs. Suddenly for the first time, colored underwear came on the scene and I saw the effect of fashion on something as simple as underwear. I was hooked on the excitement of newness and the effect great product has on business.
NATALIA: How would you define good innovation?
Michael: Good innovation is the combo of design, merchandising and sell through to the consumer. It needs to be relevant as truly new, but have meaning to the consumer.
NATALIA: Is innovation important to you? MacGregor?
Michael: At both the Greg Norman collection and in our MacGregor Golf Club companies, innovation is what separates us from the field.
NATALIA: How is innovation realized in your business?
Michael: Design, product development, technical services and production all must work together to bring innovation to the market in sync.
NATALIA: Any challenges or successes you have had bringing innovative design to market?
Michael: There are always challenges in getting all these components firing at the same time. Often, one area is ahead or behind in the ability to deliver innovation, so a project may be delayed.
NATALIA: What are some of the current innovation projects you are working on?
Michael: In apparel, climate controlled fabrics are becoming more important for the active golfer. Body temperature regulating developments are in our market and improvements are in the works. In golf clubs, we have a new metal that we are introducing to the clubface for game improvement.
NATALIA: Do you feel technology in fashion is just a trend?
Michael: Everything is a trend. It’s just about how long it stays with us. Technology will be with us for a long time, the consumer likes it.
NATALIA: In a few words please share with us your vision for the future.
Michael: Companies that innovate and develop consumer centric products will excel even more in the future. The combination of economic challenges and modern expectations will raise the bar for products to succeed.
Posted in Apparel, Brands, Celebrity, Cool, Creativity, Customers, Design, Eco-Friendly, Fashion, Fashion Design, Golf, Innovation, Innovative, Luxury, Menswear, Natalia, Natalia Allen, Performance Gear, Shopping, Technology
Tagged Design, Design Futurist, Golf, Innovation, MacGregor, Natalia, Natalia Allen, Style, Technology