Lee Cooper is putting a renewed focus on its denim collection, broadening its jeans offer for spring 09 and launching the 100 Years Project to celebrate its centenary.
Stefaan Le Clair, Lee Cooper’s chief executive, said of the 100 Years Project: “We’ve asked 100 pioneering people from various professional backgrounds to create something special themed around denim.”
The range is on a whirlwind international tour before being auctioned off in Paris on September 29, with all proceeds going to the Red Cross and charity Designers Against AIDS.
Among the 100 people who have designed pieces for the project are designer Giles Deacon, ex-Olympic athlete Linford Christie and catwalk legend Paco Rabanne, who submitted an elabor-ately embellished denim jacket.
“Lee Cooper was known for being a denim company,” said Le Clair. “The message we want to get across now is we have evolved into a lifestyle brand based around denim.”
The brand is continuing its premium collaborations with French socialite Lou Doillon and contemporary streetwear designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and is launching a 100 Years Collection of denim to wholesale.
Le Clair added: “We’re putting lots of added value in the denim in terms of washes and finishes. And we have renewed our efforts in womenswear, a market which we lost in the 1990s. Womens-wear currently accounts for 30% of total sales. My goal is to bring that figure up to 40% over the next four seasons.”