Walking The Walk: Ralph Lauren’s got it. Tommy Hilfiger doesn’t. And Jay-Z’s could be fleeting.
Street cred, that is. At least, that’s the view of marketing consultant Jameel Spencer, whose clients include a trio of P. Diddy ventures: Sean Jean Clothing, Justin’s Restaurant and Daddy’s House Social Programs. “Jay-Z’s Reebok thing [footwear] is going to be a short-term success,” the Blue Flame Marketing and Advertising president predicted to trend hunters and marketers at Rolling Stone’s Youth Culture Conference, held June 11 at Powder studio in Manhattan’s Chelsea section. “If someone is getting paid just to put their name on something, it won’t work for long. Everyone knows if you turn on a Jay-Z video, he’s wearing Air Force One,” Spencer said of the Nike shoes. “Jay-Z loves Nike.” [Nike is a former client of Spencer’s, as are Versace and Calvin Klein.]
In contrast, Spencer said, “Ralph’s honest about who he is and makes great quality products. When I put on my Polo shirt, I feel like I’m lying in a hammock in the Hamptons; I’m feeling a certain level of affluence.” For this event, however, Spencer was sporting Adidas warmups and sneaks, a brand whose street cred he credited, in part, to Run-DMC’s Eighties rap, “My Adidas.” Meanwhile, Hilfiger doesn’t have street cred because he tries too hard, said Spencer.
Naturally, street cred’s seen some changes since then. A 21st-century brand that portrays both affluence and authenticity can achieve it, quite unlike decades past when pricy designer labels and street sensibilities lived at opposite ends of the style spectrum. But that’s easier said than done. “You’ve got to stop talking about street cred and start investing in the culture,” Spencer asserted — against the ironic backdrop of a business conference.
Break On Through? “We’re overmarketed to but we’re adept at protecting ourselves,” asserted Alex Bogusky, creative director of Miami-based ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky. His belief was shared by an unlikely suspect — Eric J. Furda, Columbia University’s executive director of undergraduate admissions, who joined Bogusky in a panel discussion dubbed All Branding, All the Time, also held at the Rolling Stone Youth Culture Conference. “You can’t put anything past 17- to 21-year-olds,” Furda claimed. “They filter things out.”For Alissa Quart, author of “Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teens,” though, a protective coating isn’t enough. “Is culture a mirror or an ax?” she queried. “The flaw in this thinking is there’s a Darwinian aspect to it.”
Au contraire, argued Peter Arnell, chairman and chief creative officer of brand marketing consultant Arnell Group. “It’s a commercial world. The more we keep going at kids and try to sell them shit, the more they like us,” he insisted with a laugh.
The group did agree on one thing: It keeps getting tougher for marketing messages to break through. “Teens are bored,” Bogusky noted. “Brands aren’t as different as they used to be because they’ve all gone out and talked to the same people. We have a lot of egg-shaped brands, brands without edges.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)