NEW YORK — At the ripe old age of 25, Candie’s is ready for a retrospective.
The brand is set to launch a Vintage Candie’s collection that will include apparel, footwear and accessories all geared to channel fashion from a long time ago — the Eighties.
Seeking to unite generations old and new, the ads for the new collection pair Eighties rocker Pat Benatar and MTV pop princess Cheyenne Kimball. The TV spot evokes the feeling of a live concert, featuring a duet of Benatar’s rock-pop ballad “Heartbreaker.” This is the first endorsement deal for both artists.
The multigenerational marketing is intended to stimulate the current customer base and tap into Candie’s more mature clientele.
“We think we’ll hit two audiences: the old Candie’s customer who relates to Pat Benatar [someone in her Forties] who, whenever they see the name Candie’s, they smile and remember fun times and remember our signature wood slides,” said Neil Cole, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Iconix Brands, Candie’s parent.
Though the duo may at first seem a bit of an odd couple, Cole elaborated on the marketing team’s choice of Benatar: “We just thought she had the right attitude. She’s still touring after all these years, she wore Candie’s when they first came out. She’s really a Candie’s girl. She’s just perfect.”
Beyond her music career, Benatar’s style inspired Eighties fashion trends from jet-black spiky haircuts to colorful leggings. Twenty-five years later, the rocker has inspired a more offbeat byproduct, a Candie’s fragrance named after “Heartbreaker.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Kimball is a 15-year-old aspiring singer-songwriter of MTV fame, and a heartbreaker in her own right. She was chosen as the ad’s link to today’s generation. Candie’s marketing team “knew she had the new MTV show,’’ Cole said. “We heard her music, and we really believe she’s going to be a huge star. We have a long history of identifying artists [including Ashlee Simpson, Kelly Clarkson and Destiny’s Child] and we really think she’s going to break out.”
Kimball’s reality show, “Cheyenne” has provided a marketing opportunity for Candie’s. Kimball will wear the Candie’s Vintage collection during the program and a future episode will prominently feature her visit to Candie’s studio to film the ad campaign.
Asked why she chose Candie’s as her first endorsement deal, Kimball was enthusiastic. “I really do like Candie’s clothes [especially the skinny jeans and ‘I Love the 80s’ T-shirt]. I like the whole promotion deal and the whole thing is a great opportunity. I got to meet Pat Benatar, whose classics I grew up with. I’ve turned down a lot of [offers for endorsements], but they allowed me to have my guitar — I was able to be seen as a musician, which is very important to me.”
The songstress-in-training was thrilled to meet Benatar. “She’s a lot like me in some ways, or I guess I should say I’m like her. She’s very cool, very level-headed.”
Candie’s Vintage collection, along with Candie’s Heartbreaker fragrance, will be available exclusively at Kohl’s department stores around July 15. Retail prices for the Candie’s Vintage collection range from $20 to $60.