Express Unveils Kate Upton Campaign

The retailer introduced its new brand ambassador and star of its fall ad campaign to a roomful of editors at Jean-Georges in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Express on Tuesday introduced the star of its fall advertising campaign, Kate Upton, to a roomful of editors at Jean-Georges in Manhattan.

This story first appeared in the July 9, 2014 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Wearing a black-and-white striped Portofino blouse and high-rise jeans from the collection, Upton gushed about her role for the specialty retailer, before offering a look at the new ad campaign.

“I grew up in Florida and Michigan and Express was everywhere,” Upton said. “I wore it and my sisters wore it. They have amazing styles and great fabrics. It’s nice to have something in your life that you use. They have the best tank tops and jeans.”

The campaign has a heavy focus on denim with new washes and styles. “We’re even on the high-waist trend,” said Liz Crystal, chief marketing officer of Express. Three ads for August revealed Upton wearing a jean jacket and fedora; a faux leather jacket, black cami and dark wash jeans, and a black cropped top and skirt.

“This is the first time we’ve used a celebrity in over 30 years,” said Crystal. “We wanted a full 360-degree marketing campaign. There will be consistency in stores, on the Web site and through all the digital and print advertising.”

Upton will be featured in Express campaigns over the next year wearing everything from party dresses to workwear to casual attire.

Upton said her Express role is about “being a good example. It’s about showing confidence when wearing the clothes and being an example for young girls.” She said she wants to convey good values in each of her projects. Though it might be hard to believe, Upton said she feels insecure sometimes, but doesn’t let it get the best of her.

“I love fashion and I hope to be with [Express] and continue the relationship,” Upton said. “Every opportunity I’m interested in is open to me. I have a great relationship with the brand.”

Upton, who appeared in “The Other Woman” with Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann, said she took acting classes for two years and continues to enjoy learning about acting. “I’m getting scripts to look at,” she said.

The campaign will appear in August in Teen Vogue, Lucky, Cosmopolitan, People StyleWatch and Nylon, Crystal said. “In September, we’ll be in all the big fashion magazines in a big way,” she said. “We’ll be in double the number of publications.”

On Tuesday evening, Upton made an appearance at the Express store at 1552 Broadway in Times Square.