Stronger, Smarter and Dope: How Dickies is Fast-Tracking Innovation
- Dickies® is accelerating product innovation since joining VF in 2017
- The brand’s iconic 874 work pant, first launched in 1967, recently garnered rave reviews on the “Why It’s Cool” podcast from fashion website Highsnobiety
- Dickies is working to improve products by incorporating more comfort and temperature control technologies into its products
Is Dickies cool?
According to Highsnobiety podcast host Jian DeLeon, yes, it is.
On Jian’s “Why It’s Cool” podcast, he recently discussed the brand’s history in workwear, skate culture, streetwear and fashion. When touting the brand’s 874 work pants — think khaki but cool and comfortable — Jian shared its enduring popularity among skateboarders and the hip-hop scene, likening the product to “…that reliable friend that doesn’t try too hard, and that’s why it’s dope.”
But Dickies is not resting on its laurels even after 50 years of popularity.
Scott Efird, Senior Director of Product Innovation for Dickies, said the brand is working on “head to toe innovation.”\
“The Dickies 874 is the most iconic work pant in the world,” Efird said. “We are working to keep it relevant globally while creating the next generation of iconic products that will be around for the next 50+ years.”
Since joining the VF family in 2017, Dickies is accelerating its ability to improve and innovate through collaborations with VF’s other workwear brands and with researchers at the Global Innovation Centers in Stratham, New Hampshire, and Alameda, California.
The brand also gleans insight from its Pro Staff in the U.S. and Dickies Ambassadors in the U.K. and throughout Europe who test new products. These collaborations will help the brand as it works to expand the women’s and children’s lines.
“It’s a tremendous source of technical knowledge that we didn’t have as a standalone company,” Efird said.
The brand got another boost recently when Popular Mechanics featured Dickies’ new Moto Line and its abrasion-resistant “Iron Cloth,” which is 300 percent more abrasion resistant than normal denim. Efird said this kind of innovation isn’t new for Dickies. The Dickies Pro Line, for example, includes a high tenacity Cordura® HT420 fiber that is six times stronger than cotton.
Two other recent innovations combining durability with comfort are FLEX, which incorporates stretch fabrics, and Temp-iQ, a cooling and warming thermoregulation product line.
“We have a relentless focus on consumer insights that the acquisition is going to make stronger,” Efird said. “We identified mobility, functionality, comfort and durability as primary product needs. These qualities will help drive Dickies’ innovation initiatives and growth going forward.”