FIRST TIMER: After more than a decade in business, Intermix is about to unveil its first ad campaign. The brand is in the early stages of an “evolution,” and hired a new marketing director to elevate and modernize its image. “Our customer has evolved and so should we,” said a spokeswoman. She added the campaign will be delivered through several channels that are a bit unexpected, such as street wall paintings around New York City. “We are advertising in places like V magazine and Paper, but we are also going to be in local media outlets.” The images are grittier than one might expect from Intermix, incorporating black-and-white photography with watercolor graffiti, “to bring the edge in,” said chief executive officer Khajak Keledjian. Ads will make their debut the first week in July.
This story first appeared in the June 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
FIRST OUT OF THE GATE: It looks like the first weekly magazine to publish a tribute to the late Michael Jackson won’t be a celebrity weekly, but rather, Time. The timing of Jackson’s death came after the close of the latest issue of Time’s sister magazine, People, as well as those of People’s competitors, Us Weekly, In Touch Weekly and Life & Style. So those magazines likely will publish issues dedicated to the music icon in the middle of this week. But today, Time will publish a special issue that will include photos, stories on Jackson’s music and the news of his death and reminisces from celebrities and companions. The issue will cost $5.99. Time last published a special edition in between its weekly issues in the days following 9/11. That issue sold more than 3.2 million copies. Meanwhile, Rolling Stone will publish a bookazine dedicated to the King of Pop, as the magazine currently has a double issue on newsstands. The special issue will be on sale July 10 for $9.99 and will have a distribution of 450,000 copies. Finally, Life is planning to publish a bookazine on the pop legend, but specific plans for coverage, price and distribution weren’t available at press time.
— Stephanie D. Smith and Amy Wicks
FOCUSING ONLINE: Aéropostale Inc. is looking to get more bang out of its Web site, the fastest growing part of the teen chain’s business. “The business has the potential to be 10 percent of our total volume,” Julian Geiger, chairman and chief executive officer, said Thursday while participating on an e-commerce panel organized by GSI Commerce. “It’s a very easy way to touch customers. About 80 percent of our marketing dollars are spent online. Can you go much higher than 80 percent? Probably not.” A million customers browse the Web site each week, Geiger said.
The $2 billion, 900-unit mall-based Aéropostale is moving fast online with its new P.S. From Aéropostale division for seven- to 12-year-olds. P.S. this month opened its first store in the Palisades Mall in West Nyack, N.Y. Plans call for nine additional stores, primarily in the New York metro area, during fiscal 2009, as well as an e-commerce site. The site is currently information-only and provides a look book.
As far as social networking, Geiger said it’s “clearly” part of his customers’ lives, but that it’s “way too early to react in a business way….We do not want to make a mistake.”
On the same panel, Claire Babrowski, executive vice president and chief operations officer of Toys ‘R’ Us, said that by 2010 or 2011, “our Internet presence will be a global platform.” The company already operates e-commerce in Japan, China, the U.K., Canada and the U.S. “We are growing our Internet presence, and e-commerce business is a major strategy.” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was also on the panel, which was moderated by Lauren Levitan, founding partner of Moxie Capital LLC.
— David Moin
GATHERING NO MOSS: A nude photograph of Kate Moss, taken by Chuck Close, will be auctioned at Christie’s South Kensington on Wednesday. The image, which originally appeared in W magazine’s 2003 tribute issue to Moss, is expected to reach an estimated price of 7,000 pounds, or $11,400 at current exchange, to 10,000 pounds, or $16,300.
— WWD Staff