“What show is this for?” a construction worker asks a passerby, puzzled by the gaggle of girls in swimsuits posing on the deck of the house across the street from where he’s loading wood planks into a U-Haul.
It’s no show. Rather, just another day and just another model casting call at the Los Angeles outpost of Galore Media Inc., which only recently moved to its Echo Park home, expanding out from its Midtown Manhattan headquarters as it looks to solidify a presence on both coasts.
Galore Media is the parent to its namesake Galore media content company as well as the mobile creative agency Kitten for influencers. Kitten contains the portfolio of some 150 individuals ranging from photographers and models to chefs and artists, all of whom are pulled into the group on the basis of their hefty social media footprints. Galore then acts as the link between those influencers and brands to help with product launches, create campaigns and organize events for companies that would otherwise have no clue how to embed themselves into this new generation of consumers.
As retailers continue to scratch their heads over the habits of Millennial shoppers, Galore has gone beyond that to look at a much younger crew. And therein could potentially be the problem at retail, cofounder and co-chief creative officer Prince Chenoa said.
“The people that are in the heads of department stores are older and they can’t relate to someone that’s 16, 18 or 20,” he said. “I mean, there are probably, let’s say 35-plus some of them and I feel like they’re not really on the ground. They’re not really in the mix and they’re looking to whatever Vogue, Marie Claire or these other fashion brands tell them. And girls these days don’t care about Vogue. They don’t care about Marie Claire. Those things are irrelevant to them because they’re looking at things like Nasty Gal. They’re looking at things like Shop Jeen. They’re looking at things that they can relate to and these bigger fashion brands catch onto that once it’s already been done.”
The company is following the migration to Snapchat, building out its Snapchat Studio platform for several brands, having already worked with Buffalo Jeans with additional work for Rampage, Bongo and other brands set to roll out as early as the end of July. “Everything’s kind of folding into that as Snapchat becomes the new leader and I think where tech is kind of going for the mobile creators so everyone’s interested in it,” Chenoa said.
The company after a collaboration with apparel brand Tart Collections last year, which ended up in stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus, will debut its clothing collaboration with Missguided for holiday. Details are still under wraps but the market can expect lots of color and Nineties inspiration.
“[Tart] was more conservative, upscale [and] contemporary,” said cofounder and co-chief creative officer Jacob Dekat. “We just wanted to tap into a younger demographic and be a little bit sexier [with Missguided].”
Chenoa and Dekat, who met during a casting call about eight years ago, first dabbled in an underground fanzine Chenoa likened to a modern-day Playboy before the two linked with chief executive officer Mike Albanese and chief marketing officer Nick Pastula to form Galore. The four are majority owners of the business, which doesn’t disclose financial information. The company said it has had triple-digit growth since its 2013 launch with a body of work for clients that include L’Oréal, Diesel, Guess, Beats Audio, Absolut and Revolve.
While Galore’s leg-up has always been its digital savvy and hip factor, it hasn’t thrown out more traditional channels that, in a way, give it a bit of that underground credibility that in some ways harkens back to Chenoa and Dekat’s original start with the fanzine.
The Galore magazines, published four times a year, are meant to be limited-edition, keepsake items sold in places such as Colette in Paris, Opening Ceremony and Nasty Gal. Influencers who have appeared on the cover include Kylie Jenner, shot by Terry Richardson on her 18th birthday; former MTV VJ and model/actress Ruby Rose, and Zendaya channeling Cindy Crawford for her shoot.
The point at the end of the day, and what keeps the company moving, Chenoa said, is to appeal to the girl the company believes is being underserved by traditional media and brands: “She’s this cool, rebellious, fearless girl that a lot of media brands don’t really get or are scared to tap into and we’re tapping into her in such a cool way.”