Ecko Unltd, owned by Iconix Brand Group Inc., is banking on its next ad campaign to rev up interest from its target Gen Z market. The brand, best known in the late Nineties and early 2000s as a hip-hop line, is putting a heavy focus on resurrecting its business and re-creating its overall image. Ecko will be returning to J.C. Penney Co. Inc. stores next week after an absence of several years.
“This is our first foray post-Seth Gerszberg and Marc Ecko,” said James Ling, vice president of marketing for the men’s division of Iconix. “We’re trying to freshen it to that 2.0 level. We’re going after that 16-year-old consumer who didn’t know what Ecko was growing up but is now discovering the brand.”
Ecko was founded in 1993 by Marc Ecko with investments from his twin sister, Marci, and friend, Seth Gerszberg. Iconix bought a 51 percent stake in 2009 and the remaining interest last year. Gerszberg is no longer involved in the label and Ecko is concentrating on his upscale contemporary label, Cut & Sew.
“It’s going to be interesting to see how the new generation aligns with the rhino brand,” Ling said.
To appeal to the young man of today, Ecko has turned to hip-hop artist B.o.B to front its campaign. The advertisement has the artist sporting sweatpants and a star-printed shirt against a bold and graphic background by the artist Claudio Limon.
“If you talk to B.o.B, he’ll tell you he’s not a rapper, he’s not a singer, producer or whatever. He is preaching ‘no genre,’” said Ling. “He embodies a lot of frustrations we have as a brand. We’re not a hip-hop brand, a skate brand, we appeal to a wide demographic.”
He said that was key to connecting with today’s customer.
“If you look at any teen’s iPhone today, they don’t listen to one genre of music, they have a little this and a little that,” he said. “Teens don’t define themselves like they used to 20 years ago.”
The campaign will feature other notables as well, including Gilbert Meléndez, a UFC fighter and Manny Santiago, a professional skater. “The Hispanic consumer is a huge supporter of the brand,” he said.
The ads will run in Complex, Nylon Guys, UFC 360 magazine, and digitally on complex.com, HypeBeast and others.
The video portion of the advertorial will debut on Tuesday on complex.com and its affiliate Web sites. Ling also said there will be a heavy push on Facebook and Instagram with sponsored ads.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast