SWITCHING GEARS: The fashion industry must have let out a collective giggle Tuesday when PR Consulting revealed via e-mail that it would be representing a new, unexpected brand: Grindr.
Grindr, which was founded in 2009 by Joel Simkhai, is a popular location-based dating app for gay and bisexual men — Marc Jacobs was a fan.
The app previously handled public relations in-house, but now Grindr, which approached PR Consulting, wants to align its company, which is self-funded and has over 5 million active users, with a top fashion public relations firm, whose client list includes Christian Dior, Pucci and Rick Owens.
“As Grindr grows it’s global network and expands into new areas, we wanted to find a partner that would both understand our vision for a more connected world and push us to think differently about how we speak to our users,” Landis Smithers, vice president of marketing at Grindr told WWD. “While we knew PR Consulting might seem unexpected to some, their approach has always been highly creative, responsive and pro-active. We are thrilled that they also understand and embrace the vision we are developing.”
The relationship could appear off-brand, but according to PR Consulting’s cofounders, Pierre Rougier and Sylvie Picquet-Damesme, Grindr offers an opportunity for fashion brands to reach a vast number of people.
“When we were first approached by Grindr, we thought it was a fascinating project to be a part of. Joel is passionate about Grindr For Equality and we feel very strongly about putting forth a positive message to the LGBTQ community,” the cofounders told WWD. “It might seem surprising to some in the fashion community that we would take Grindr on as a client, but this is a very large platform with more than seven million users worldwide and one million users engaged every second on Grindr. It would be foolish to think that the fashion, lifestyle, beauty and luxury industries would not view this as an incredible platform to reach an influential, potential consumer.”
The size of the audience aside, the responses on Twitter to the news ranged from disbelief to jokes about the entertaining prospects of the partnership: