American Eagle Outfitters Inc. wants to do more than simply sell clothes, and has determined that one way to do so is by producing original entertainment content. American Eagle's new platform, 77Entertainment, is designed to deliver programming to ae.com, Web sites such as YouTube, MySpace and FaceBook, AE stores and television.
The content will include music, comedies, reality programming and dramas. The new unit plans to add user-generated content featuring promising new bands and solo musicians.
The first project, "It's a Mall World," a 12-episode series, was directed by Milo Ventimiglia of NBC's "Heroes."
"Creating and delivering relevant content is another way for American Eagle to maintain a lasting connection with its customers, as well as promote discovery by introducing them to new artists," said Kathy Savitt, executive vice president and chief marketing officer of American Eagle.
"It's a Mall World" was produced by Russ Cundiff, co-founder of production company Divide Pictures, and written by award-winning writer and director Adam Green ("Hatchet"). The cast is made up of up-and-coming actors from shows such as "Veronica Mars," "CSI: NY," "Shark" and "Law & Order."
The episodes don't reference American Eagle products explicitly, but several of the characters wear the brand's clothes, blurring the line between promotion and entertainment.
This is not American Eagle's first brush with Hollywood. Last fall, to promote its subbrand, aerie, the company teamed up with the CW network to air 30-second shows-within-a-show during "Veronica Mars" and "Gilmore Girls." American Eagle last year also created the aerie music series to identify emerging and independent musicians.
Like the company's previous entertainment efforts, a key part of the strategy is to drive traffic to the AE Web site, where executives hope consumers linger long enough to make a purchase.
“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