When the ninth largest consumer apparel marketer in the United States needed a shot in the arm to reinvigorate its 100-year-old consumer brand, it turned to Jane Seymour, TV’s Dr. Quinn and an accomplished artist, to design a new collection for its catalog. Blair’s public relations agency, G.S. Schwartz & Co., launched a major national line launch and branding campaign, including publicity and special events, to appeal to younger, upscale females ages 36 to 54 who, regardless of body type and taste, wanted to look great for less – without sacrificing quality or style.
 Although successful in the mature, low-to-moderate income market segment, Blair Corporation didn’t have visibility or appeal with a younger, more affluent customer. In order to attract this audience, the company needed to reposition its key Crossing Pointe brand and establish itself as a legitimate player in fashion rather than just the apparel industry.
Blair conducted market research on various celebrities as possible collaborators in order to determine who would most appeal to a wide demographic of women. Focus groups determined that there was a 91% familiarity with Jane Seymour among female consumers due to her diverse career in film, television and publishing. When Blair contacted the former James Bond girl, the company was delighted to learn that she was an avid painter who was eager to transform her artwork into fashion designs that reflected her lifestyle. It was a perfect match.
Blair styled the clothing line to appeal to “fashionistas” while not alienating the core customer. It hired Amy Rosi, well-known brand consultant in the both the fashion and luxury industries for her work on behalf of Escada and David Yurman; created a CD-ROM and VHS featuring Jane Seymour discussing her decision to form a relationship with Blair Corporation; sought a cause marketing partner and identified Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation as a cause meaningful both to Seymour and Blair’s target audience; and organized a year-long schedule of fashion shows, events and activities that were coordinated with seasonal catalog drops.
 In the absence of any advertising, PR lead the effort with a variety of tactics:
· Announced Blair’s partnership with Jane Seymour to the fashion and business communities during a breakfast event at the Palace Hotel in New York
· Unveiled Blair’s first Jane Seymour Signature Collection during Fashion Week with an exclusive fashion show at an upscale private club in New York
· Worked with Jane Seymour to ensure that the star wore items from the collection at all of her appearances
· Developed a press kit containing a catalog, a press release and photos of Jane Seymour, wearing items from her collection, to coincide with each catalog drop
· Invited the fashion press to explore Jane Seymour’s “closet” during one-on-one meetings at the Library Hotel in New York
· Launched a dedicated Web site, www.janeseymour.com, that enables visitors to experience the world of Jane Seymour and her Signature Collection
· Extended a limited offer to fashion editors to take advantage of a special discount on purchases made from the dedicated website
· Previewed the holiday collection, which included a “Penguins & Pearls” theme, at the Penguin House in NYC’s Central Park Zoo. Guests watched Jane Seymour assist with the penguin feeding and left the event with their very own “black and white” penguin cookies and product samples
· Organized a unique online fundraising effort for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, whereby Blair donated $1 for every order placed during the month of October through its websites janeseymour.com and crossingpointe.com
The line has taken off! Women across the country have embraced the clothing line…just ask the hosts of ABC’s The View – ten minutes after Star Jones spelled out the collection’s Web site on the air, the site had more than 25,000 hits and temporarily crashed.
Consumer attention has been constant - in the year since announcing the partnership, Blair Corporation’s Jane Seymour Signature Collection for Crossing Pointe has been written about in nearly every women’s fashion magazine, including Good Housekeeping, Redbook and Woman’s Day, and is regularly covered in Women’s Wear Daily, the fashion industry’s key trade. Additional media placements have been far-reaching, ranging from CNN to the New York Post, E! Entertainment Television to USA Today. Even in this economy, the stock price is trading near its highs.
The overwhelming success of the program can be measured by Blair’s decision to launch the Jane Seymour Signature Collection as a stand-alone catalog in Spring 2003.