Dockers is making khakis hip for hipsters at a SoHo pop-up store, reports Elaine Louie in The New York Times (9/15/13). Dockers had its day when khakis defined "business casual," but that was in the mid ’90s. In 2011, it "introduced Alpha, a new line marketed to younger customers. The pants are lower on the waist, tighter in the seat and tapered at the hem. They’re cut like jeans." To introduce them last Spring, Dockers "outfitted an Airstream bus as a mobile Dockers store, and sent it on tour, stopping in Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia."
The goal was not so much sales as exposure, explains Maneesh K. Goval, founder of MKG, agency for Dockers. For New York City, however, something extra was required. "For a style to penetrate, you have to be in New York," Maneesh says. "There’s no better way to get people to try them on than a pop-up store." A SoHo location was selected because it "has good foot traffic; it’s connected to the neighborhood, art, fashion, the New Museum," Maneesh says, adding: "Never do Chelsea … Except for openings and Saturdays, no one is there."
Trimmed with "vintage typewriters, globes and luggage," the pop-up offers "Dockers Alpha collection pants in 10 colors not available elsewhere … When a purchase was made, the salesperson pulled out a drawer marked with that color, and a light flashed on a corresponding pair hanging on the wall above. The customer’s pants would be custom-dyed in Turkey and shipped direct." The experience also featured Stumptown coffee, free anchor-tattoos (a variation on the Dockers logo) and free haircuts courtesy of Blind Barber. The Dockers pop-up is open "Tuesdays through Saturdays until Sept. 27."