Former fashion publicist and talent agent Josh Reed is kicking off Gents, his new headwear and basics brand, with a splashy advertising campaign. Reed is investing $1 million to $2 million in a print campaign to draw attention to the new company, which is launching with a line of upscale, customizable baseball hats.
The black-and-white ads, shot by Yu Tsai, feature models Chad White, Adam Senn and Kevin Sampaio, along with newcomer Melissa Bolona. The initial advertising buy includes eight pages in the winter issue of VMan and spreads or single pages in the December issues of GQ, Details, Men’s Health, Nylon for Guys, Out and Playboy. Additional buys are planned for next year.
Reed’s pricy bet on advertising to springboard Gents into the fashion landscape was influenced by his time as director of men’s public relations at Calvin Klein Inc. from 2006 to 2010. “I want to explain the brand though imagery and really set the tone for future categories,” said Reed, who was most recently director of public relations at Gilt Man and a commercial talent agent at Todd Shemarya Artists Inc.
Los Angeles-based Gents launched in October with an e-commerce site at Gentsco.com, where shoppers can order 24 designs — such as a star, fleur-de-lis, Maltese cross or crown — on eight colorways in two sizes of fitted baseball caps for $59. A custom monogram can be added for $69.
“I moved out to L.A. to work as a talent agent and saw that guys were always wearing caps, even at places like Chateau Marmont and on the red carpet. But it’s hard to find anything without a flat brim or sports team on it,” said Reed. “I wanted to juxtapose the sporty with the sophisticated. Caps are something that’s masculine and athletic but missing from high-end fashion brands.”
Helping finance the start-up — and the advertising buy — are two silent investors that Reed declined to identify. The company has five employees and worked with consultant John Auerbach, the former president of Gilt Groupe’s Park & Bond site, on the launch.
“I think there’s a hole in the market in the better headwear space and his idea for online customization is a trend that’s only getting stronger,” said Auerbach. “Josh’s idea is to enter a number of niche categories that are quite specific and that nobody really owns right now and offer a range of well-designed essentials.”
Reed plans to add upscale, raglan-style T-shirts to the site this month, as well as knit beanies, like those favored by Ashton Kutcher and David Beckham, in cashmere and wool blends. Down the road, he envisions growing into gym bags, travel bags, dopp kits and accessories like dog tags. “David Yurman makes amazing dog tags but these will be a lower price point. I’m not competing with luxury brands. This is attainable luxury,” he explained.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion