THE CHALLENGE: After 116 years providing the world with cotton basics - Hanes wanted more. Across the country, printers were making a fortune printing graphics on the Hanes Beefy Tee. It was clear that the brand was well known, but it was too conservative to compete in the apparel market. It was time for Hanes to wake up and own a piece of this business. I was hired to make that happen.
THE SOLUTION: The first day on the job I decided we couldn't be just another art department. I branded our in-house division - imageLAB and I subsequently hired a staff, opened studios in 3 cities and developed a world-class print facility. Within 3 years we exceeded expectations and sales of graphic apparel soared to over three hundred million dollars.
As head of R&D, I mentored the imageFactory team to keep pace with our expanding needs. We improved production capabilities, installing the latest silk screen equipment and improving the entire supply chain from packaging through shipping. By printing smarter, packing better and streamlining our process we raised our bottom line impressively. I was also proud that I was abot to promote and elevate the careers of women who were often overlooked.
Our women's JMS Collections (Just My Size) became a sales leader for plus size graphic tops that we've spotted all around the world!
The diversity of the these three hubs gave greater access to local talent, exposure to regional trends and accessibility to our clients.
Hanes is a trusted and authentic brand but we found out early in the game that its conservative profile was working against us - just not cool enough. We needed to convert new customers to capture this apparel category. We developed the hot sub-brand Public Universe by Hanes, successfully expanding our reach and sales into the Young Mens market.
With new cool artwork we kicked the basic sweatshirt into a high volume category. New business was expanded to Target, Sports Authority and Walmart.
Monthly the imageLAB generated essential Trend and Color Books that told the latest fashion stories both online and in print.