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de-dork-ification of a brand and its look

It’s hard to miss Dockers’ Doug Conklyn as he walks down Battery Street in orange or cherry-red slim-fit khakis, a madras blazer, and cordovan penny loafers. And that’s his point. By reinventing how people wear khakis, Conklyn is further reinventing the brand. The company’s new senior vice president for global design has been rolling out the bold—and much needed—reincarnations of the tired wide-leg beige slacks, and getting a feverish reaction in the market-place, including American Rag and Urban Outfitters recently picking up the brand. Among the new head-turners are the Alpha khaki slim-cut chinos available in bright red, cobalt blue, and slate gray; denim-inspired washes with resin-coated finishes; and lived-in, five-year-destroyed styles. “My own personal style is strongly rooted in classic East Coast prep, so that preppy sensibility seems to take on a whole new level of freshness out here,” says the New York transplant, who served as a judge for GQ/CFDA’s “Best New Menswear Designer in America” award earlier this year. “It’s great to see slimmer, more modern cuts resonating with younger consumers—they wear their khakis in a totally new way. Our khakis are as at home with a pair of Chuck Taylor sneakers and a skinny T-shirt as they are with a button-down shirt and dress shoes.”