Savane Goes Shopping

Savane International is talking to agencies in the West about up to $10 million in marketing projects, sources said.

Headquartered in El Paso, Texas, the men’s apparel maker and marketer is expanding its product lines and could be seeking to supplement the creative output of its longtime roster shops, McGarrah/Jessee in Austin, Texas, and SWG&M, also in El Paso.

Alexia Vasilakis, Savane’s director of marketing, said the company employs its two roster shops for advertising and collateral work, assigns special projects to outside vendors and creates some marketing in-house. She insisted that the ad account is not up for review.

“We are not making any changes in the relationships with our two agencies,” Vasilakis said. She declined to discuss what project assignments are currently in the works. Agency representatives said they had not been informed of any potential changes.

Savane president Michael Mitch-ell, who directly oversees all agency assignments, was traveling last week and unavailable for comment.

The Savane line of men’s dress and khaki pants is sold in department stores such as Macy’s, May Company, Dillards and Sak’s. Key competitors are Dockers and Haggar. Its advertising budget for the brand was $1-2 million in 1999 and 2000, according to CMR.

The company also markets Farah men’s pants and licensed apparel brands such as Bill Blass, John Henry, Van Heusen and Swiss Army. McGarrah, a small, creatively oriented agency, handles consumer branding print ads for the various Savane lines and shares trade and collateral duties with SWG&M.

Savane’s owner, Tropical Sportswear International in Tampa, Fla., has been on an expansion track recently. In addition to launching the first line of clothing for Swiss Army, it acquired clothier DuckHead this month.