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Riders Jeans Gets Stacy London to Saddle Up

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Stacy London is not just telling people what not to wear anymore. Instead, in her new role as spokesperson for Lee, London will be encouraging consumers to don a pair of Lee’s Riders jeans.

London will help pitch Riders as jeans that fit great and make you look slimmer in TV and print ads breaking in April. The ads depict London in a slightly different role than the one she plays as co-host on the reality makeover show, What Not to Wear, said Craig Errington, rep for VF Corp.’s jeanswear division. “She’s really cheering on women to achieve their own personal style and confidence in what they wear and how they look.” Toth Brand Imaging, Cambridge, Mass., handles creative.

Riders hopes London’s celebrity status, as well as the jeans’ affordable price point (less than $20), will resonate well with female buyers, the majority of whom are in the 25- to 49-year-old range and shop at mostly mid-tier and mass-market channels. “Value is important to them, but so is finding a great-fitting pair of jeans they can look and feel good in,” Errington said. This marks the first time Riders has signed a celebrity of any sort to market its namesake brand.

Jean sales have been flat at about $13 billion, per the NPD Group. Denim is a “necessary luxury,” said Marshal Cohen, NPD’s chief retail analyst, and tends to be somewhat recession-proof. As for Riders linking with London, he said it doesn’t hurt to have a celebrity behind your brand.

London is an old pro at product promotion, having worked with brands such as Wonderbra and Procter & Gamble’s Pantene. P&G rep Randall Chinchilla said the partnership is working out just fine, as London is a natural when it comes to educating consumers on how they can “make smart choices to keep their beauty routines intact, even in tough economic times.”

Riders spent $14 million on U.S. measured media through November 2008, and $20 million in 2007, excluding online, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.