VFiles’ camo-inspired capsule with Mountain Dew launches its next iteration exclusively at PacSun Friday as the brand turns its attention to expansion beyond New York for its next act.
New York-based VFiles is most simply described as a social networking platform aimed at youth culture via three main pillars: fashion, music and sports. It connects with its target audience through its site, events and store at 12 Mercer Street, which houses designs from emerging and established labels.
The company linked with Mountain Dew in fall 2016 on its Camo Out capsule, releasing multiple versions of it since that time. Friday’s launch exclusively at 10 PacSun stores in the U.S. and the retailer’s online store introduces new light pink and blue color ways.
“We are honestly so inspired to work with Mountain Dew and work with a brand who thinks like this,” said VFiles ceo and founder Julie Anne Quay, mentioning the award the first Camo Out capsule received. “When does that happen? When it comes down to it, it’s a soda company and us winning design awards.”
The company in 2016 received the Silver A’Design Award in the wearable technologies category for a collection that included a Bluetooth-enabled parka, solar backpack and earbud-wired tracksuit.
“The way the VFiles community dresses is really the way they feel about things. It’s not just pure fashion statements. What we don’t want to do is we don’t want to do the typical merchandise partnerships,” Quay said. “The first thing [companies typically] do is they go backwards and start to look at their original logo or their old advertising. Our conversation with Dew was how can we do something new and how can we create a perception of their brand in a different light.”
The idea was taking the shard imagery of the beverage company and using it to re-create a camouflage print.
“We wanted to work together to connect the Mountain Dew brand to the VFiles community in a way that was culturally exciting to our audience that had some real design thought into it that was a whole lot more than just dropping a logo on a T-shirt,” Quay said.
The latest collection, priced from $40 to $110, includes hoodies, T-shirts and track suits.
The partnering with PacSun marks the first time VFiles is working with a retailer. Past Camo Out, offerings have been sold in venues such as the VFiles store and ComplexCon.
“PacSun is the first retail partner that we’ve worked with on this collection and, for us, the whole energy with Mountain Dew with surf, snow, and the outdoors it really made sense for us to try and find a partner that had a big foothold in that market. That really is PacSun,” Quay said. “This is also the first time that VFiles has done something that is L.A. centric that is based in L.A.”
The collection is to be celebrated Friday evening at VFiles’ event series Pass the Aux, which serves as an open mic for emerging artists. VFiles then selects some of that work to be released on a compilation through its record label.
Pass the Aux at PacSun’s Santa Monica store will serve as a lead up to a greater presence on the West Coast with the company now contemplating a store in the Los Angeles area likely to come online some time in the second quarter, Quay said.
“I think the thing that’s really exciting for us is that we realize 2018 for us is about taking VFiles out of New York City,” Quay said. “Obviously, New York City is our home and always will be, but spreading the news — we’ve got international announcements coming up. We’re working on some TV announcements that will come out soon.”
The ceo, when asked about her reference to international, declined to get into specifics other than to say the brand is going global.
She held back in similar fashion when pressed on her reference to television other than to hint, “We have always had a lot of interest in seeing what goes on in the VFiles world on a daily basis and the community that we connect with, and it’s going to make a great TV show.”