For some time it has been a little quiet around denim brand Lee. Together with Alexander Haß, Lee Country Manager Germany, we spoke about the brand's new goals and of course Lee’s upcoming 125th anniversary in 2014.
“Organizationally it was just not possible to handle everything. We set a very strong focus on the sales business last year, we work very closely with our retailers,” says Haß. But according to Haß this is going to change in 2014. “We have a lot going on next year. Together with our retailers and Lee friends we want to celebrate throughout the whole year Lee’s 125th birthday and we will implement different projects.” What plans and projects are planned exactly, Hass doesn’t want to reveal yet.
Regarding the collection the focus will of course remain on denim. “We will strongly emphasize our icons like the denim overall and workwear topic and give them a new, modern twist,” sais Haß.  According to Haß the classic Lee products are in strong demand. “It is the typical rider look from Lee that the retailers are selling the best, with denim shirts and jackets we are offering a complete denim look.” Regarding the collection there are some news for the women’s as well as for the men’s segment: “For F/W 2014/15 we are offering for the first time selvage stretch denims for women and are focusing more on slim fit, tapered leg and more stretch,” says Haß.
Throughout recent seasons Haß has observed that fashionable customers such as Wormland, P&C, Breuninger, Crämer & Co., Thomas I Punkt and Wöhrl have rediscovered Lee as a denim brand. “We have rejuvenated the collection and customers won’t find us at department stores like Kaufhof anymore. Only in selected Karstadt department stores you can find Lee.”
The quality of the retailer has changed over past seasons and the feedback is good. Lee has the reputation as a denim underdog,” explains Haß.
At the moment there are no plans to expand with own stores but rather to open up more branded areas or shop-in-shops. The strongest market in Europe is still Scandinavia. But business in Russia and Poland is also expanding. “In these markets we are even growing above average,” Haß points out.