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All-Ages Appeal with Isaac Mizrahi's Touch at Liz Claiborne

Renata Espinosa
August 14th, 2009 @ 3:35 PM - New York

Good news for anyone tired of the cult of youth that pervades fashion: Liz Claiborne happily sets its sights on designing for the “perpetual 35 year old,” said Margaux Caniato, vice president of marketing and advertising at Liz Claiborne Inc.

“It’s the spirit embodied in the 25-year-old who aspires to be more sophisticated, but also in the 70-year-old who sees herself as youthful,” said Caniato at a screening on Aug. 12 in New York of three new short films being used as part of the company’s fall advertising campaign.

The films, produced by Red Bucket Films, star supermodel Coco Rocha alongside regular women of all ages cast from the streets in and around New York. The films were done “mock-umentary” style, weaving in a fictional narrative about the making of the ad campaign with Rocha with various staged mishaps. Isaac Mizrahi, who left Target in January 2009 to joining Liz Claiborne, makes Hitchcock-like appearances throughout spouting his signature off-the-cuff commentary.

Caniato said the film concept was inspired by a story one her colleagues told about standing in a crowded elevator with other employees with a model in their midst, who joked and talked with the other women like any other person debunking the myth that models exist on a level inaccessible to the average woman. It meshed well with their idea of Liz Claiborne clothes being accessible to a wide range of women, not just the models in an ad campaign.

The shorts will be a part of Liz Claiborne’s online campaign on Facebook and Youtube to attract blogger buzz about the Mizrahi-designed collection, Liz NY, which gives the traditional Liz Claiborne sportswear a fashionable injection of color and pattern that they hope will appeal to a more youthful customer, as well as retain their core customers by offering something fresh.

Revitalization and the jumpstarting of sales this fall is crucial for Liz Claiborne Inc., which posted on Wednesday, Aug. 12, a decrease of $595 million in net sales from continuing operations for the first half of 2009, or 28.9 percent, for a net sales total of approximately $1.463 billion.

The company also announced a $100 million in cost reductions, to be completed by the end of the year, focused mainly on distribution center consolidation, outsourcing of certain corporate functions, consolidation of support and production staff at the brand level and store closures of their Mexx business, as well as a reduction in inventory and more streamlined merchandising.

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