"We view the marriage of innovative and technical product platforms from Saucony footwear as a starting point for our expansion into performance running apparel, ultimately providing a head-to-toe brand experience for our consumers,"said Richie Woodworth, president of Saucony. "The timing of this launch has strategic significance for us as we continue to gain market share in the important run specialty trade channel."
The company reports that each collection in the Saucony line is inspired by the authentic running culture, whether it's the "Hurricane Collection" for performance running, the "Technical Core Collection" for fitness endeavors or the "Tri Collection" for triathlon training and racing. The line consists of shorts, tops, jackets, tights, pants, sport bras and accessories.
"Leveraging our resources and technologies across the footwear and apparel categories allows us to deliver leading fabrications, innovatively engineered fits and refined details intended to enhance the athlete's personal experience,"said Woodworth. "We will utilize the categories of footwear and apparel to create a stronger presence at retail, elevating the Saucony brand."
For more information: www.saucony.com
Intellifit Installs Virtual Fitting Room at Airport
Philadelphia International Airport is the first in the nation to host the Intellifit Virtual Fitting Room, a kiosk shopping experience designed to help consumers find the perfect fit when ordering brand name clothing online.
The Virtual Fitting Room (VFR) is a cylindrical kiosk that's seven feet in diameter and eight feet high. A person stands fully clothed in the middle of the VFR for about 10 seconds as an "antenna wand"passes around his or her body, collecting more than 200,000 data points. Intellifit software then creates a personal "FitPrint"
that can be compared to the measurements of brand name clothing in the Intellifit database. The system uses very low power radio waves (about 1/350th the power of a cell phone signal) and is perfectly safe, Intellifit reports.
There is no charge for the service, and the FitPrint can be used to shop online for clothes within minutes of stepping out of the VFR.
"Since our technology makes online apparel shopping a no-risk experience for consumers, it has great value to online apparel sellers,"Intellifit president Rob Weber commented. "Our Virtual Fitting Room provides a no-risk guaranteed fit for the online clothing shopper. Air travelers are busy people, and many don't have a lot of spare time to walk through shops and malls. Getting an Intellifit FitPrint can help them save time and be more satisfied."
Online sellers benefit from the additional business, especially when they know that fit problems will be few and return rates will be low, he added.
Intellifit recoups referral fees from brands when a person uses the firm's FitPrint to buy clothes online.
For more information: www.intellifit.com
Pony Makes a Comeback
PONY International LLC and Toray Ultrasuede (America) Inc. have partnered on the debut of two "Punk"shoe styles that offer a modern twist on Pony's authentic sports heritage that captured a strong consumer following in the 1970s.
The new line will offer high-performance benefits guaranteed by the Ultrasuede certification mark, the companies reported.
Perfection Uniforms Debuts Performance Series
Perfection Uniforms has released two new lines within its Performance Series uniform brand.
The StratusSeries line of uniforms is made of "Class A"rayon blends, which are designed to offer color depth and retention, stretch, UV protection and external liquid protection with internal wickability and breathability. Garments in the line will be available in a wide range of models that will feature the Perfection EGC System.
The EclipseSeries line of uniforms is made of performance synthetics, including an initial offering of knit shirts that feature a new "AeroPique"with a 3-D construction that creates air space around the wearer to reduce cling and wicks moisture instantly. This line also incorporates Microban antimicrobial protection.
For more information: www.perfectionuniforms.com
> The Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries (EFFI) has named Gilbert W. Harrison as its co-chairman. Harrison is chairman and CEO of Financo Inc. He will serve as co-chair of the EFFI, which is the industry support body of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), with John J. Pomerantz, the foundation's chairman since 1999 and trustee emeritus of FIT's board of trustees.
> Goody's has appointed three new executives to leadership posts within the company. Gary Yiatchos has joined the company as senior vice president and chief marketing officer; Thomas Hughes as senior vice president of human resources; and Lori Horn as group vice president - merchandising. Yiatchos most recently was executive vice president of Parisian, formerly part of the Saks Department Store Group. Hughes previously was director of recruitment and staffing at Chico's FAS Inc. Horn spent more than 10 years with Limited Brands, and previously was vice president and merchandise manager for Victoria's Secret Direct.
> The Headwear Association has appointed Bob Broner of Broner Inc. as vice president of the association's board of directors.
> Kellwood Co. has named Daniel Karpel vice president and controller. Gary Simmons, president of the Gerber Childrenswear division, has been named CEO of the division.
> The National Retail Federation has named Angelica Rodriguez as its director of loss prevention. She previously was manager of member relations.
> Net Worth Solutions Inc., a merger and acquisition advisory firm that provides investment banking services to the fashion industry, has appointed David M. Golden as director of advisory services and special projects.
> NexCen Brands Inc. has hired Brenda Palmer as vice president of licensing and brand development. She served as vice president of licensing for Jordache Enterprises from 2002 to 2006.
> [TC]2 has named Dr. Michael Fralix as president and CEO. Peter Butenhoff remains chairman. The organization also elected the following new members to its board: Keith Crisco of Asheboro Elastics Corp.; Kevin Hall of Hanesbrands Inc.; Kat Heffron of Limited Brands Inc.; Susan Jessup of Wachovia Bank; Bob Levine of Liz Claiborne; Matt McCullen of Russell Corp.; David Moody of Milliken and Co.; and Ed Thomas of Fruit of the Loom.
> The University of Georgia College of Family and Consumer Sciences has named Charles S. Gilbert as its Georgia Soft Goods Education Foundation Distinguished Professor. In his more than 40 years of industry experience, Gilbert has consulted with more than 150 companies in countries including Australia, Japan, Taiwan, Nigeria and Mexico, as well as throughout the United States. In 1987, he founded his own consulting business, which he continues to manage.
> Urban Outfitters Inc. has promoted Glen Senk to CEO. Senk joined the firm in spring 1994 as president of what was then a one-store Anthropologie concept. Anthropologie has since grown to be a 95-store retail chain within Urban Outfitters. He assumed responsibility for the firm's Free People brand in 2003 and one year later was elected to the board of directors.
Tommy Bahama Introduces 'Relax' Store Concept
Tommy Bahama opened its first Relax retail store this spring in Naples, FL. The 2,000-square-foot store, created to showcase the company's casual, weekend-worthy collections, is located directly across from its flagship Tommy Bahama's retail and restaurant compound in Naples.
The store mix at Relax includes approximately 75 percent men's Relax product (which debuted last spring), with the remainder consisting of women's swimwear, cover-ups and items from the Spa collection, as well as towels, caps and beach bags.
"The Relax shop conceptualizes the kick-back, casual weekend portion of our business,"says Patricia VanCleave, president of retail for Tommy Bahama. "The concept behind the stores is to offer an oasis for men and women in which to find great T-shirts, sweatshirts, swimwear and shorts that are as comfortable and casual as possible.
"The store carries everything related to the 'Relax' concept,"she added. "We've designed the store to feel like you're walking along a beach or hanging out by the pool."
For more information: www.tommybahama.com
MoneyBag Brand Launches Web Site
KISS musician Gene Simmons and designer Jason "Deuce"Dussault have launched a web site featuring the new MoneyBag street wear brand.
The site showcases the first Limited Edition Line of the pair's new label. Dussault, founder of Dussault Custom Ink, created the web site and the Limited Edition Line.
"My love of cinema combined with wanting to create a very cool interactive site brought about the idea of having videos on the site with characters showcasing the products,"Dussault said. "Our site launch introduces 'Apparel for Players' with characters Juan Love, Nick Dasher and Sugar. Watch for upcoming episodes and characters as our product line expands."
The first MoneyBag Limited Edition product is a line of T-shirts for men. Every piece is hand painted and detailed for a one-of-a-kind custom feel. For more information www.GeneSimmonsMoneyBag.com
Awards & Accolades
The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) recognized the winners of the fifth annual SIMA Image Awards at its annual SIMA Surf Summit. The goal of the SIMA Image Awards is to identify the surf industry's most influential companies and recognize them for their efforts to advance and grow the industry during the past year. Through functions such as the Image Awards and other events, SIMA raises funds to support oceanic environmental efforts through its charitable environmental foundation, which has raised more than $3.5 million in the past 17 years.
Following are this year's SIMA Image Award winners: Company of the Year: Billabong USA; Breakthrough Brand of the Year: Vestal Watch; Men's Ad Campaign of the Year: Insight's "Dead Modern"campaign; Men's Boardshort of the Year: Andy Irons Rising Sun by Billabong; Men's Apparel Brand of the Year: Volcom; Women's Ad Campaign of the Year: Billabong Juniors; Women's Swim Brand of the Year: L*Space; Women's Apparel Brand of the Year: Volcom Girls; Accessory Product of the Year: Vector Tech Foils by Future Systems; Footwear Product of the Year: Slip-On by Vans; Surfboard Model of the Year: Firewire Flexfire; Wetsuit of the Year: Infiniti Series by Xcel.
The National Association of Uniform Manufacturers & Distributors (NAUMD) has presented its 2007 Image of the Year Awards to these companies in the following uniform categories: Casinos and Gaming: CINTAS for its Table Mountain Casino program; Cruise Lines: CINTAS for its Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines collection; Entertainment: Blade Uniforms for its Coca-Cola Attractions line; Healthcare: Mag & Sons Clothing for its full uniform line for the Greenwich, CT, EMS Ambulance Service; Hotels: CINTAS for its W Hotels uniform program; Restaurants: Walt Disney Uniforms for its Walt Disney World Resort Food Courts program; Retail Establishments: Brookhurst for its uniforms for the Mary Kay business; Service and Industry: Unitex Direct for its uniforms for New York City's Common Ground housing and rehabilitation program; Theme Parks and Sports Arenas: Disney Land Resorts for its uniform program for the Yamabuki Japanese Restaurant; Transportation: All-Bilt Uniform Fashions (a division of Fechheimer Bros. Co.) for its Amtrak uniform program.
For more information: www.sima.org, www.naumd.com
It's a Jacket! It's a Backpack! It's a Pillow! It's a Xip3 Triple-Function Outdoor Jacket
CoreGear has introduced its own version of hybrid fashion with the Xip3 triple-function outdoor jacket.
The Xip3 can transform from a jacket into a backpack or sports pillow with the pull of a zipper. The quick-change Xip3 (pronounced "zip-three") is available in men's, women's and kids' sizes.
The jacket offers a breathable, self-cleaning outer shell made of nanosphere technology that repels dirt and water and drives back the wind. It also is made of an ecoSmart 100 percent post-consumer PET recycled polyester lining that feels like suede.
The Xip3 also features Scotchlite reflective piping and a stowaway hood.
For more information: www.xip3.com
Peds Brand Boosts Image
Peds, one of the most recognized family sock brand names, is embarking on a major rebranding campaign with help from the North Carolina-based Woodbine advertising and public relations agency.
Peds is owned by one of the country's largest sock companies, Hickory, NC-based International Legwear Group (ILG), which sells its products through retailers including Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Payless Shoes, JCPenney, Kohl's and Sears. Besides Peds, ILG markets licensed sock brands, including Reebok, Keds, Dickies, Starter and Wrangler.
In November 2006, ILG completed a $64 million refinancing deal to build the Peds brand.
For more information: www.peds.com