Five Four has brought on a new type of collaborator.
This story first appeared in the March 3, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The digital men’s wear brand is known for producing capsule collections with fashion industry veterans including Robert Geller, Mark McNairy and Motofumi “Poggy” Kogi. But now they are pushing for more visibility by partnering with Chris Paul, a nationally recognized NBA player.
Paul, who is a point guard for the Los Angeles Clippers, will appear in the brand’s summer campaign and will design a Five Four capsule collection to be released throughout the rest of the year. It will infuse Paul’s athletic sensibility with pieces that can be worn from day to night.
“Chris has great personal style, he’s the biggest superstar athlete in Los Angeles and he’s a family man,” said Andres Izquieta, who cofounded Five Four with Dee Murthy. “His values are so on point with what we believe in and he’s had big challenges during his journey through life. We wanted to show how Five Four can help take you through your own journey.”
Paul has had a partnership with Brand Jordan for the past 10 years, but this is the first time he has worked with a fashion company. He discovered Five Four when he first moved to Los Angeles and noticed fans wearing Lob City sweatshirts, which Five Four produced at one point, and it made an impression.
“It wasn’t the typical fan paraphernalia and instantly I was drawn to the brand,” said Paul. “Ever since then I’ve had a great relationship with Andres and Dee. Five Four embodies the energy and lifestyle of Los Angeles. They are a part of L.A. culture. I’ve learned about the history of the brand and their commitment to being leaders in the Los Angeles fashion market and the subscription concept. I believe in them.”
The campaign, which was produced in-house, will include 15- and 30-second TV spots that will air on networks including Spike TV, ESPN, Vice and Bloomberg. According to Murthy, for the past two years Five Four has aired TV commercials explaining what the brand is and how it works, but they wanted Paul’s campaign to have a bigger message.
“TV has had a tremendous impact for us,” said Murthy. “It’s one of those things where everyone is walking away from TV and we’ve found a lot of opportunities to scale our message on this platform. So much focus has shifted to digital advertising and Facebook, but millions of Americans still watch TV every day.”
Five Four continues to grow its concept — Five Four Club members pay $60 a month to receive a curated box of two or three items, but pieces can also be purchased à la carte. Last July it launched a stand-alone footwear brand with Mark McNairy and introduced a streetwear-inspired activewear brand Grand Athletic Club late last year. It will offer grooming products under Mercer and Clay this month.