When Dockers® invented the khaki in 1986, it revolutionized the working man’s dress code. Now, it’s doing it again with the Smart 360 Flex™.
Released in 2017, this pant literally takes comfort in new directions with its four-way stretch technology. Coupled with a flexible waistband and hidden security pockets for valuables, the 360 Flex™ not only stands up to the 9-to-5 grind but offers a seamless transition from boardroom to bar. It’s the khaki for a man that’s always on the go.
As the 360 Flex™ continues to drive innovation for the brand, we sat down with Janine Chilton-Faust, vice president of Men’s Design, and Cristina Cruz, director of Men’s Bottoms Dockers®, to get a closer look at their brainchild.
The evolution of the 360 Flex™
It all started with a vision: a khaki that looked like a chino with the functionality of a sport pant. With trends emphasizing comfort and mobility, the creative team experimented with adding stretch to 100% cotton, spearheading what is now known as the bi-stretch khaki.
But it wasn’t enough to launch one fabric. The team wanted to push fabric innovation further by developing four bi-stretch fabrics and styles in addition to innovative sundries – and accomplished this in only nine months.
“We’re the biggest brand to launch a bi-stretch product that’s cotton rich,” Cristina said. “Most brands that claim they have a four-way stretch use polyester, but we use primarily cotton lycra.”
Since then, the khaki has evolved significantly. From color and fit to added performance features like covert pockets, style and function are among the key drivers of innovation.
How the brand will remain “Always On”
Part of the fit’s success lies in how the pant embodies and expands on the Dockers® “Always On” message. As Janine explained, “The 360 Dockers® are not something you want to take off when you go home. When you hang with your friends after work, you want to keep them on.”
So, where does the fit go from here?
“We will continue working with bi-stretch cotton but elevate it by adding different textures and weights as well as performance attributes, such as wicking,” Janine said. Consumers can look forward to these upgrades as soon as Fall ’19.