Home > Uncategorized > Michael Shane…My Boss After Levi’s…and Déjà vu

Michael Shane…My Boss After Levi’s…and Déjà vu

In the mid-seventies, after I left Levi’s as Director of Worldwide Marketing, Michael put me on retainer to help him ‘tame’ his Faded Glory rocket, but it was too little, too lateImage result for faded glory jeans label

In the mid-1970s, Michael Shane, the young entrepreneur, was able to combine snappy marketing and attention to retailers into a remarkable, although short-lived, success. His company, Faded Glory Jeans by Appendagez Inc., rocketed to sales of $55 million within three years of introducing one of the clothing industry’s first lines of pre faded denim.

With Faded Glory, Shane had gambled that the teenage propensity for washing a new pair of jeans umpteen times to fade the material meant there was a market for prefaded jeans. Working on that instinct, he manufactured a line of fashion jeans and sold it through a network of specialty stores and independent boutiques. In doing so, he profited handsomely.

But the Faded Glory saga ended sadly. The company’s sales peaked at $55 million in 1976, plateaued for the next few years, then plummeted. Shane sold his interest in 1979; Faded Glory folded operations a few years later.

Shane had spread himself too thin, fashion industry observers say. They attribute the demise of the company to its inability to manage balanced growth in its sales and manufacturing divisions. In Faded Glory’s heyday, according to Shane, its sales force booked $150 million annually in orders, but its manufacturing division could produce only enough jeans to supply one-third of that amount. Dealer dissatisfaction increased accordingly, and the company finally crumbled.

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