Karen Riley-Grant

When you chat with Karen Riley-Grant, Dockers' new director of global consumer marketing, about the brand's bid for the high-end business, there's no need to dance around the big khaki elephant in the room. "There's a negative perception out there that we have to overcome," Riley-Grant admits. "It's the idea of the pleated-pant cube-dweller with the blue Oxford and the brown shoe." But now Dockers is on the offensive, claiming its rightful place in the pantheon of pants. A label stitched into some pairs of the premium trousers proclaims: "Khakis may not be fancy, but it probably isn't a good idea to call them boring either. Men wearing khaki won two world wars, wrote the great American novel and discovered a little thing called relativity. Nope, khaki may not be fancy. But it is far from ordinary."

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