February 27th, 2017
Barry McGeough is Vice President at Innovation Next, which is PVH Corp’s in-house innovation agency. PVH owns iconic brands like Calvin Klein, Speedo, Tommy Hilfiger, and many others.
Barry is committed to growing iconic global brands by creating award-winning, innovative technical solutions for apparel, gear, and footwear that performs and appeals.
PVH seeing increasing competition knew they had to get some kind of edge, and so they started PVH Innovation Next. This effort is just finishing out its first year and there have already been some fascinating developments.
In the apparel industry, investment in pure R&D is very new. I most industries, they are putting up to 30% back into R&D, but in fashion, it’s standard to put 1% back into R&D. PVH Innovation Next seeks to change that. In the last 20 years, brands used to work season to season and do pretty much the same thing. But now brands are doing 26 seasons per year.
Currently, almost every major sportswear company is creating innovation divisions to compete outside of just color, line and fabric. This means we are about to see far more sophisticated clothing. Nike, Lulu Lemon, and Underarmour, for example, are researching biomechanics and technology. But it goes farther.
Because their company has so many iconic brands working on various problems, there very well may be a solution in one brand that the other brands are not aware of, and PVH Innovation next helps connect dots that would otherwise not be connected. Van Husen, for example, might be working on a new fabric and find out they have no use for it, but it may solve an incredible challenge at Speedo.
Barry McGeough and the way PVH has set up their innovation division pushes back on the traditional innovation division that is truly quite useless and it was a pleasure speaking with him. Check out the full interview.
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