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Maturing Fashion Brands Need Reinvention

Burberry, Coach, Gucci, Lacoste, Dior, Diane von Furstenberg, Guess and J. Crew are textbook cases of brands that have reinvented themselves and enjoyed tremendous success in a second life. They could offer lessons to others, such as Gap, Liz Claiborne, Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Halston and Tommy Hilfiger, all of which had overwhelming success during their heydays, but have lost their way.

Hiring the right designer is often viewed as the critical component to reengineering a brand. Total attention must be paid to the brand in an effort to return to its essence and reason for being successful in the first place, experts say. They also say it's easier to reinvent a brand when it's not a public company. Often the pressures of Wall Street won't allow a brand the luxury of starting over or taking on a new identity.

But some brands just hit the market at the right time and no amount of reinvention can resuscitate them, nor can they flourish in the same channels as they had previously. These brands often need to consider different channels of distribution, or a "time out."



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