CORDURA® Brand – Q/A with Cindy McNaull, global CORDURA® brand and marketing director
Q: Can you tell us about your role and what you do for the CORDURA® brand?
A: Over the course of eleven years, I have been involved in the development and implementation of INVISTA’s global CORDURA® brand marketing, licensing and execution strategies. This includes building relationships with key end use customers globally and throughout our value chain – from mills, to designers, product managers, manufacturers, retailers, brand houses, media partners, brand advocates, and more. It continues to be a great collaborative journey that couldn’t have been made possible without our loyal brand customers, valuable supply chain partners and durably passionate global CORDURA® brand team – and we’re not stopping anytime soon.
Q: What types of characteristics are consumers looking for in today’s denims, and how do CORDURA® Denims tailor to those needs?
A: Today’s consumers are seeking both versatility and performance. As they are always on the move, they are looking for products that can seamlessly transition them from one place to the next; clothes that they can wear throughout the day in comfort and style. In order to help consumers achieve that stylish look, comfortable feel and durable strength, our mission is to develop built to last, innovative fabric solutions to help meet these multi-faceted requirements.And because we believe in the true power of collaboration, we work closely with our valued supply chain partners to implement the latest in smart, durable and sustainable fiber technologies to continually drive next generation performance denims.
Q: What about CORDURA® fabrics are different than other ingredient fabrics in this sector?
A: The DNA of the CORDURA® brand is durability. No matter which market we are developing fabrics for, we work to offer enhanced strength, abrasion-resistance and longevity. And it’s a natural fit for us to incorporate this ethos into our CORDURA® Denim portfolio and look to find ways to do this without sacrificing performance or traditional denim aesthetics.
In addition to being built on a foundation core of durability, one of the other benefits to our extensive CORDURA® Denim portfolio is its diverse technical versatility while maintaining an authentic denim look and feel.
In our latest launch we teamed up with Artistic Milliners and TENCEL™ Fibers to create a powerful, dense dark denim platform with excellent color fastness and an Eco-efficient footprint. The new ‘Supercharged Noir’ collection by Artistic Milliners is built on an innovative ‘5S’ technology platform focused on Stay True color, Strength, Softness, Sustainability, and Stretch.
Specifically engineered using a combination of INVISTA’s new staple nylon 6,6 BLACK SDN fiber innovation and spun-dyed TENCEL™ Modal fibers with Eco Color technology for next generation performance, the collection is infused with color-fastness locked in at the fiber level for excellent shade consistency and long-lasting vibrancy. The process of solution-dyeing utilized in both the INVISTA T420HT BLACK SDN and TENCEL™ Modal fibers with Eco Color technology helps to greatly reduce the water and chemicals used in the textile manufacturing process, a key component of sustainable innovation in the collection.
Q: Tell us about the inspiration behind the latest SuperCharged Noir denim collection
A: Artistic Milliners has been our longest running authorized CORDURA® Denim mill and has been a strong innovation partner since the program’s inception in 2010. Through the years we have collaborated on numerous projects to advance the science of performance denim, including several innovative developments with TENCEL™ focused on soft and strong solutions.
The insights from Ebru Ozaydin, SVP of sales and marketing at Artistic Milliners and Tricia Carey, director of global business development at Lenzing speak volumes for the inspiration behind this collection:
Ebru: At Artistic Milliners, we believe in the power of collaboration. Today, we all need each other to create new technologies and better products for a smarter consumer. The development cycle is continuous, which leads us to learn from each other and share our experience and collective wisdom. We created the ‘SuperCharged Noir’ Denim collection with CORDURA® brand and TENCEL™ fibersby implementing the latest in smart and sustainable fiber technology, which we feel will be the next evolution in performance denim.
Tricia: Together, we share the same belief that innovation begins with collaboration. Initially, this partnership began with just a soft technology, TENCEL™ fibers, in combination with long-lasting CORDURA® fiber to translate the two technologies into a softened strength solution. Now over the years, it has evolved into studying the unmet needs of the consumer and solving new problems for a new generation.
For the new Artistic Milliners Supercharged Noir collection, we really wanted to fuse value and versatility – especially since these features are important for both men’s and women’s offerings. Over the past several seasons, we’ve seen a rising interest in black denim in a variety of segments for both men and women. And with that, we’ve seen the consumer looking for a product that stays black after multiple washes, providing that benefit of a lasting product.
Q: What can we expect to see in the future of CORDURA® Denim? Are there are any other upcoming denim collaborations coming down the pipeline?
A: The future is bright for CORDURA® Denim. As an example, we are working with Artistic Milliners, TENCEL™ and Dovetail, a new and exciting brand to hit the women’s workwear market to commercialize the first adoption of the Supercharged Noir collection. Together, we share the same mission to help build the next generation of workwear for women by combining our collective process and product innovations with Dovetail’s strong consumer and industrial athlete insights.
We also just introduced our latest collaboration with Cone Denim, at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Featuring high strength INVISTA nylon 6,6 filament technology and Cone Denim’s S-Gene® high performance dual-core yarn technology, this new denim innovation offers an authentic look and feel with hidden performance and engineered stretch benefits.
This announcement follows our special limited edition CORDURA® selvage denim in honorof our 50th anniversary last year. Since then, we’ve continued our work together to innovate new denim solutions, and the new CORDURA® S Gene® Denim collection is in alignment with our shared vision for the future of performance denim.
Q: Rigid denim is slowly but surely making a comeback. Will this affect the stretch denim, athleisurewear? Or do you believe that both rigid and stretch will have a fair share in the market?
A: From our perspective we truly believe that there is a home for both. Our CORDURA® Denim Originals collection celebrates authenticity that is derived through both rigid and stretch technical denims. Denim is so much about personal preference and being fit for purpose. We focus on versatile performance denim that helps enable the designer and the end consumer to customize and choose their own solution.