Denim is an American classic, and a wardrobe staple. So it’s no surprise that the Jeanswear coalition may be VF’s most iconic business historically. Its big brands have strong roots – the Wrangler® brand was founded in 1947, while the Lee® brand celebrated its 125th birthday in 2014. At a time when consumers hunger for authenticity, these are brands that people know and trust.
But times change. Consumer preferences evolve. With the increasing popularity of “athleisure,” VF’s Jeanswear coalition is providing comfort and versatility in its newer products. We are leading the way in innovation and delivering new products that are propelling the brands forward, while maintaining their relevance in a fast-changing market.
It all starts with the consumer. Through our research we’ve discovered that across all of our consumer targets, comfort is the No. 1 factor driving them to buy. So we took that to heart and found ways to delight consumers by enhancing comfort across all of our brands, business segments and product lines.
At the Wrangler® brand that meant creating a four-way flex technology that’s 20 percent stronger than regular denim and much more comfortable. The result? Wrangler® Advanced Comfort, which allows men more movement and lasts twice as long. We took this new fabric construction and leveraged it across all of the Wrangler® brand’s business units and then rolled it out simultaneously across all stores.
To drive home the message that this denim offers versatility as well as comfort, we developed an advertising campaign featuring football star Drew Brees wearing his Advanced Comfort jeans for everything from a day in the outdoors to a night on the town.
Meanwhile, the Lee® brand looks to new fabrics and technology to develop jeans for women that move with their active lifestyles. Lee® Easy Fit jeans feature a stretch waistband and flexible fabric. And with Heavenly Touch™ from Riders® by Lee®, our consumer gets the best of both worlds – the softness of her favorite sweats or yoga pants and the slimming fit qualities of denim. The Lee® brand’s Modern Series with active comfort denim is providing men the ultimate in comfort and good looks.
The story doesn’t stop there. In 2015, we’ll see the opening of our Global Jeanswear Innovation Center, where we will assemble teams of chemists, scientists, engineers and designers who’ll combine their expertise in technology and new materials with VF’s proprietary insights and deep understanding of consumers' wants and needs. We’re bringing it all together to ensure that we continue to develop breakthrough products that drive brand equity and long-term growth.