April 17th, 2015
I Lost My iPad…In My Pants
They say fashion trends repeat themselves every 20 years or so. Sounds spot-on considering the recent unearthing of flannel, jean jackets, crop tops and (gasp) overalls. It won’t be long before high school hallways will be mirroring a grungy episode of “My So-Called Life.” Some trends will make a comeback, while others, like scrunchies and Jelly sandals will (hopefully) not make the cut.
Nineties fashion got me thinking about nineties brands, especially the ones I now associate with the most embarrassing of trends. Remember these guys?
Word on the street is JNCO is back. That’s right, the brand has somehow unburied itself from a never-ending pile of wasted demin and will be available online this week and on shelves in the fall. While the thought of the brand reappearing makes me cry a little inside, from a marketing standpoint, JNCO is making positioning moves that have helped revive several of the brands we know and love today:
Maintaining the core. JNCO has not forgotten the street culture that fueled the rise of the baggy-panted empire in the ‘90s. The brand will be resurfacing in the context of skating, music and art, but is setting itself up to scale. Think about a brand like Puma. Today, it targets the athleisure market in addition to athletes, but imagine if it were to abandon its core in soccer. Enter a newfound form of football hooliganism.
Retaining brand heritage (but considering an extension or two). The wide legs aren’t going away despite the current popularity of skinny jeans. They’ll just be coming it at a “conservative” 20-23 inches in width. Slouchy knits and joggers will be available as well to better align the brand with current lifestyle trends. One might compare this to the evolution of Converse All Stars. While the cut got lower and more colors were introduced to appeal to the masses, the classic high top America first loved remains intact.
Contemporizing for a new generation. JNCO is taking steps to appeal to today’s millennial. Despite being in its infant stage, current activity in the social space suggests the brand is in tune with millennials’ desire to curate, as well as their heighted expectations around 24/7 accessibility and top-notch customer service. Relevance is a crucial component of any brand revitalization effort. Just ask Keds, who have found their new Kelly Kapowski in Taylor Swift.
While we all know the fate of JNCO is somewhat dependent on what the fashion gods have to say, the brand is taking some steps in the right direction. And hey, if Apple devices keep growing, we all might have a case for investing in some more accommodating pockets.