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WWD News: Wrangler Retro Taps Country Singer Jason Aldean, Designer Gilles Dufour Ventures East

Wrangler Retro Taps Country Singer Jason Aldean


From WWD ISSUE 07/21/2009


wranglerIt??™s good to be country music artist Jason Aldean. His latest single, ???Big Green Tractor,??? is moving up the charts and he signed with Wrangler Western Wear to be the exclusive spokesman for a new line of jeans. 

Aldean, whose song is number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 Country Songs chart, will be the face of Wrangler Retro, a more contemporary offering from the VF Corp.-owned denim maker. Wrangler Retro, which is targeted to 18- to 35-year-old men, features a lower rise, updated fabrics, contemporary trim details and two fits: boot-cut and straight leg. They will retail for $60 and be sold in Western specialty stores beginning in August. 

???The look of the Wrangler Retro line speaks directly to Jason??™s fan base,??? said Edyie Brooks-Bryant, senior manager of marketing and special events for Wrangler Western Wear, who added Aldean is a ???natural match for this collection, and he has been a Wrangler favorite for a long time.??? 

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Designer Gilles Dufour Ventures East

by Robert Murphy

From WWD ISSUE 07/21/2009


Looks from Dufour??™s collection for Erdos (Courtesy Photo)

Looks from Dufour??™s collection for Erdos (Courtesy Photo)

PARIS ??” When Gilles Dufour was contacted last September by Erdos, the massive Chinese conglomerate that runs cashmere mills as well as biochemistry and metallurgical activities in the country, the seasoned designer didn??™t know what to expect. 

Dufour, however, was up for a new challenge and talked with the company with an open mind. 

Now, less than a year into the job as artistic director for Erdos, which runs some 2,000 boutiques in China, Dufour couldn??™t be more pleased. 

???I??™ve been super impressed,??? said the designer, who has worked with Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel and did a stint at Balmain. ???They have incredible technical mastery and they are eager to try new things.???

Dufour was hired by Erdos to give its cashmere line a more fashionable spin in order to broaden its appeal. His arrival at the firm illustrates how Chinese companies, which are known for their manufacturing muscle, may now be looking to create their own brand identity. 

Though Dufour has taken on a plainly visible role at Erdos, numerous European designers consult for Chinese firms. Most, however, prefer to keep quiet on their Chinese gigs, which often bring in more money than their own brands make. 

Dufour said Erdos has been particularly eager to try novelty and has embraced his ideas ??” even the complex and costly ones ??” with an eager attitude.

???They have all of the best and latest machinery and they are able to produce quality as high any European company,??? he said. 

Dufour has remarked on many differences, too. 

???The differences with European culture are there, of course,??? he said. ???And they aren??™t all bad. The Chinese respect people with experience. They aren??™t so impressed by youth, which is not the way it is in the West.??? 

Dufour said he??™s had to adjust to cultural quirks. 

???They never go straight to the point,??? he said. ???You have to be very polite and take things step by step. When they ask something, it??™s important never to say no. You can??™t make them feel like they are being humiliated in public.??? 

Erdos??™ factories are located in Mongolia, where the company runs a so-called Erdos City that groups all its operations. 

???It??™s incredibly modern,??? said Dufour of Erdos City. ???The collection is sold there to 3,000 buyers. Outside of the city, though, Mongolia is incredibly wild. The contrast is striking.???

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–Nikki Cho Russo

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Posted Jul 21 2009 in Uncategorized

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