Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Camouflage and Military Clothing are Everywhere

At Rothco, we have two very talented account executives who service the apparel industry, Darin Kaye and Luis Khoury. Besides visiting apparel stores around New York and the U.S. and seeing customers at our at 1466 Broadway New York showroom, they are constantly on the lookout for the latest in camouflage and military clothing in the stores and on the streets.

Recently, they each made some great spots within a few hours of each other. First, Luis spotted some out-of-towners lunching in Manhattan. Here’s his account of his encounter:

“While having lunch at the Mitro Cafe in the SoHo area of NYC I came across a group of women visiting our great city from California. They were in town celebrating a 40th birthday for one of the ladies. They had just come from a shooting of Good Morning America and needless to say I did a double take as I realized that all the women in the group were wearing camo.

I asked them if they would mind if I took their picture and they were very happy to oblige. I told them that I worked with Rothco and that "camo is my business". They asked for our web site and I said that with a little luck we would have their picture on our Camobloge.”

Just more proof that women just look better in camouflage. You can find a great selection of Women’s Camo here.

Then, just a few hours later, Darin spotted this gentleman along 38th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues wearing Rothco’s Olive Drab China Star T-Shirt . This shirt has been a proven retail winner, with sales increasing each year since it’s introduction in 2002 to become an iconic classic in fashion and Army/Navy stores worldwide. Note how well it goes with a pair of jeans, matching to classics together.

You’ll also notice that he’s standing in front of Lazzara’s Pizza home of the best pizza in the garment district. In fact, many musicians and fashionistas stop by for a slice, including Jay-Z who is currently hooked up with Beyonce, one this writer’s favorite topics. Read more about Beyonce below.

Have a great Thanksgiving all!

John Ottaviano

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey, Beyonce's in our pants!

That’s right, the woman many people (including myself) consider to be one of the world’s most beautiful is wearing Rothco’s own Women’s Vintage Paratrooper Fatigues. This is the second time in just a few months that Beyonce has graced Camobloge and I’m pretty happy to have any excuse to post a picture of this fine looking woman on our blog. Beyonce is pictured from the cover story of Elle Magazine

One of Beyonce’s greatest features is that she’s a woman with a figure, actual curves, that make our Vintage Fatigues look even better and why our Fatigues look so good on her. The title of the article is “Natural Woman” and the pants provide a natural yet fashionable look.

In a video of the shoot on the Elle magazine website, Beyonce comments on the clothing, saying “The concept of the shoot is metallic gold mixed with army fatigues or khakis and it’s fabulous, it’s very simple but it’s still really glamorous and sexy. I love for whatever I wear to be something that I would love ten years from now and that’s what I’m concentrating on, making sure it’s something that’s timeless but still young and funky. So I like to mix a harder edge with something really feminine. I like the contrast. Definitely what you put on says a lot about your character.”

Sounds a lot like the way we described the typical Rothco customer in our post of July 7th , so it’s nice to know that Beyonce is a Rothco kind of girl. And it’s right in keeping with the goal we have for our women’s clothing line, feminine with that Rothco edge that makes the person who wears it stand out from a crowd.

We’ve already received several phone calls from consumers who’ve seen the article. Not a bad idea to post a copy of the image above near your front register or display of Women’s Vintage Paratrooper Fatigues. I’m thinking most of your customers wouldn’t mind looking like Beyonce. Our pants have never looked so good.

A special thanks to Jim Korn at Kaufman’s Army Navy for making this happen! By the way, click on the underlined text above to see links to more pictures and video of Beyonce from Elle Magazine.

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Hook Up

The consumers that shop in your Army-Navy and apparel stores are great folks, but they desperately need your help. You see, they don’t know how to deal with this military fashion thing. They know they want it and they may even pick up those great Rothco Vintage Paratrooper Fatigue Pants, but you’re losing out on a great sales opportunity if they don’t walk out of your place with the Hook Up.

What’s a Hook Up? While some of you selling street fashion know exactly what I speak of, there are others of you that may not be familiar with the term. Basically, you need to set them up with an entire ensemble including top, bottom and accessories (see picture to the right). Shoppers, especially men, will often just point to a mannequin that has the look they want and say, “Give me that!” And instead of just selling a pair of pants, you can sell the pants, top, t-shirt, cap, belt, etc. What was once a $39.95 sale is now closer to $129.95. Do that a few times a day, and your business becomes a whole different ballgame. By the way, this hook up consists of a 2866 Woodland Camo Special Forces Vintage Fatigue Shirt, 2562 Brown Vintage Paratrooper Fatigue Pants, 4147 Black Vintage D-Ring Belt and 10200 Military Sunglasses.

Even though Halloween is past, it’s not too early to start thinking about your merchandising for next year. Most retailers I spoke to had record Halloween seasons, but some folks say that they just don’t have any Halloween business. If your in America (except certain parts of Utah) you have Halloween. But it won’t necessarily come to you; you have to go get it. Merchandising is a big key. Put together some adult and kids soldier uniforms from boots to pants to tops to hat to pistol belt and accessories. Jeff Goldsmith from Joe’s Army Navy told me of a great idea. He takes all those messed up dog tags from misprints and puts them into sets and sells them off as cheap costume accessories. He also said that S.W.A.T. and Tactical uniforms were big sellers this Halloween. Hook Up a mannequin like the Ultra Force Poster at left (you can get a poster like that FREE from Rothco - use item #UNP on your next order) and watch some high end Tactical Vests fly out the door. Richard Geist at Uncle Sam’s had the same kind of success with tactical costumes.

Sell scrubs? Then put a set together with a stethoscope and there you go, Grey’s Anatomy (thanks again to Jeff Goldsmith). For the ladies, sexy costumes are preferred over scary, so camouflage pants or a camouflage skirt paired with a Pink Army tee gives just the right mix of sweet and sassy.

Whatever the season, keep those mannequin and window displays rotated every month or two. You have plenty of regular customers who come by often, give them something new to look at every time they come. Even if you have the same merchandise, changing your displays will make old goods seem brand new.

Got any more ideas? Just click on the comments link below or e-mail me at We’d love to hear YOUR success stories.