at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Archive for the ‘denim’ Category

Nike ID: Touch to colour

In advertising, Branding, Brands, denim, innovation on January 7, 2009 at 1:41 pm

Originally uploaded by distillerymedia

Shop windows always feel a bit like wasted space. Headless manequins in static poses as if frozen in fashion future. They neither say come in nor walk by but stand more simply as pronouncements of their anotomically incorrect selves. Now, window dressers have a difficult business for sure. A few like Simon Doonan are considered minor rock (sock) stars, but most are arrangers trying to simulantiously support the brand and its message while also driving traffic through the doors of the store.

That’s all to explain why I like these Nike windows. Not only do they support the idea of customization and uniqueness when everything is starting to look very safe and bland, but they actually encourage interaction. By touching the store window you can change the color combinations of the products, in effect test driving before you buy. I liked it online but I really love it as a window concept.

A.P.C., an unMarketer that I love

In apc, Brands, denim, jeans, trends, Uncategorized, UnMarketers on November 27, 2007 at 8:41 pm

Marketers get a bad rap. I think it probably has something to do with selling people things that they don’t need and generally distracting the public from things that are important in life, like blogs. One way marketers stimulate desire for said unneeded objects is through conspicuous, megaphone-style communications. See Gap RED’s “We care about Africa and you should buy a sweatshirt!” “You can save a lot of money on your car insurance by switching to [insert any brand here].” The joke that’s never lost on my girlfriend: “You have a friend in the diamond business!”

That’s part of why I think it’s important to highlight the unmarketers of the marketing world. Marketers who aren’t desperate for me to remember their tag, jingle or corporate mission; who speak in a normal tone of voice without yelling, cajoling or otherwise force-feeding me their message. And yes, despite being a marketing consultant I still keep to this maxim.

Which is why I love A.P.C. even though the jeans don’t fit quite right…yet. I’ve long read about A.P.C. through their placements in fashion editorial and advertisements. Some kind of understated, chic European brand… I didn’t really get it. After seeing their name enough times and being in NYC this past week I sought out the store in Soho. My encounter went something like this…

I walk into the store. It’s the clean, airy, masculine, minimalist aesthetic that I’m accustomed to with high-end retailers. This being A.P.C. and Mercer Street, the staff is somewhat affected but otherwise friendly. I find a pair of jeans on the denim bar and am encouraged to buy them two sizes too small by a staff member lounging on the couch reading a magazine. First of all, I love the soft sell. And two sizes too small? Awesome. But wait a minute, I can’t quite breathe in these, and I don’t know what’s going to happen when I try to sit down. “Perfect” is the staff member’s response that’s just about right.

A bit of cognitive dissonance ensues as I stutter step to the counter to buy the jeans. I’m equal parts excited and anxious as I hand over my credit card. It’s here that I’m asked if I know how to care for said jeans. “Uh…what do you recommend?” The sales associate informs me that only after I wear them for (at least) 6 months should I attempt to clean them. And by “clean” he means “dry clean.” He hands me an instructions card that suggests some other care techniques including:

#4. seawater recipe

let your jeans get dirty for as long as possible, go swimming in the ocean wearing your jeans, rub your jeans with dry sand, and repeat several times. rinse in fresh (not salt) water and let dry in the sun.

Like contemporary branders such as Seth Godin, I love brands and products with stories. Stories that are weird, funny, fussy, human, strange- anything so long as it gives the product life and enhances it in a sea of sameness. You can’t wash your jeans in a sea of sameness and that’s why I love A.P.C.