Clothing brands, still struggling to find their new normal in an era when women just don’t get dressed like they used to, are finding innovative new ways to connect with moms this year. Some, like Anne Klein, are using glamour to reach out with a reinvented classic: the print catalog. And Carhartt is counting on grit, showcasing how hard moms work in brand-new contexts.
Anne Klein is using a print catalog to showcase items from its new collection that Mom is bound to love. And while the glossy effort may seem old-school, the company insists it is anything but.
Even as marketers as diverse as Ikea and Neiman Marcus have halted catalog efforts, “people have more time at home now,” says Effy Zinkin, chief operating officer and general counsel at Anne Klein. “And in making something beautiful enough to land on people’s coffee tables, we felt there was a nostalgic feel of the catalog and a comfortable return to people’s roots. Classic always remains cool.”
With a print run of 200,000, about a third of the catalogs are in the mail to existing customers, with the remaining two-thirds headed to people the company thinks are likely prospects.
The catalog features Ilfenesh (“Godfather of Harlem”) Hadera, the Ethiopian-American actor and activist, alongside her mother, Kim Nichols. It highlights products that show Anne Klein’s push to become more of a lifestyle brand, including watches, shoes, clothing, jewelry, sunglasses and handbags. It also shows off Love, Anne, a new fragrance.
Zinkin tells Marketing Daily a separate campaign features Maggie Rawlins, a COVID first responder nurse and Sports Illustrated model.
He says Wave Hill Partners, which owns Anne Klein and Joseph Abboud and Toys R Us, doesn’t think of print and digital as a conflict. “Everyone talks about omnichannel, digital experiential marketing, and they’re all important. But this is about multiple entry points.” Of course, he says, that includes social media and ecommerce. “But the whole really is greater than the sum of its parts.”
He says that while the steep decline in office wear has impacted Anne Klein sales, still sales have improved. In part, that is due to quick pivots to offer more casual wear, including denim and footwear. And in addition to digital increases, “we also see sales increase in our stores, such as Macy’s. And whether people gained weight or lost it during COVID-19, they are starting to get excited about going back to work again.”
Carhartt, the Dearborn, Michigan-based work clothes brand, is focusing its Mother’s Day effort on a different kind of labor, with a new spot, “The Shift That Never Ends.” Showing moms that are occasionally muddy, hay-covered, exhausted or exasperated, the ad centers on the idea that mom really does deserve a day off.
Recognizing that its core customers probably aren’t the kind of moms waiting for a floral arrangement, the company’s selling a limited run of “Carhartt Bouquets.” When packaged together, the items resemble a traditional floral bouquet, complete with hand-sewn roses made of the brand’s iconic duck fabric.