How do you bring a long-dead denim brand back to life? Just ask Gerber Technology.
The industrial solutions firm recently worked with General Sportwear to develop an own-brand for the 92-year-old denim manufacturer and importer. Instead of creating a wholly new brand, the two companies decided to resurrect Devil-Dog Dungarees, the long-defunct denim brand that General Sportwear started back in 1948.
General Sportwear said the legacy of Devil-Dog was that it provided the “highest quality denim” made with “superb workmanship” that represented the height of denim-centric Americana. However, circumstances surrounding denim manufacturing are much different than they were in the 1940s and ’50s.
As proof, Devil-Dog was previously manufactured at a factory in Zebulon, N.C., a relic of a bygone age in apparel manufacturing. The factory still stands to this day but has long since stopped producing American denim. After so many years out of the game, General Sportwear needed a technological leg up in the design process in order to design and manufacture denim with a competitive price point.
That’s where Gerber Technology came in. Using its computer-aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software solutions, Gerber was able to modernize General Sportwear’s workflow and give it the headroom to create the new (and old) brand from scratch.
“Gerber is leading innovation and offering the best customer experience for the last 50 years,” Ketty Pillet, Gerber’s VP of marketing said in a statement. “We are very proud to partner with General and enable them to bring Devil-Dog Dungarees to life in a very short period of time. By delivering regular product updates to our fully-integrated digital solution, we make sure our customers have the unique, cutting-edge solutions to be able to meet their market challenges.”
Gerber used its YuniquePLM software to standardize the quality and design of each pair of jeans produced by General Sportwear. The program provides a singular platform able to both capture and organize the breadth of the data required to design Devil-Dog’s products—as opposed to the old way of consolidating design documents into large stacks of binders that needed to be stored and maintained.
Designers simply dream up the ideal product, create it within Adobe Illustrator and then, thanks to a built-in plug-in, upload that information onto the YuniquePLM platform to share with the whole staff.
“There’s a lot of details that have gone into these jeans and all that detail is something that we capture in YuniquePLM,” Jeff Rosenstock, president of General Sportwear, explained. “It’s our bible and how we make sure everything remains consistent and true to brand from concept through production.”
Gerber said that the combined properties of YuniquePLM and Accumark, its pattern design software, help brands to increase the “agility, speed and repeatability” of its manufacturing process and that facilities integrated with Gerber’s vertically integrated solutions have seen improvements in efficiency and value.
For its part, General Sportwear said it plans on passing down the savings it sees from their partnership with Gerber to the Devil-Dog consumer by infusing its denim with modern designs and performance fabrics at an affordable price.
“Gerber Technology’s solutions are very integral to General Sportwear and our ability to execute down to the finest levels,” Rosenstock added. “We are very proud of the product we’re making, and Gerber’s solutions are what enable our factories to create such high-quality jeans.”
The new Devil-Dog collection will be available on July 1, with 16 styles releasing at launch. General Sportwear also said it plans on adding more technology to the design workflow in the future, opening up new possibilities for its product line.