brand extensions

Keds Extends Brand to Clothing with Opening Ceremony

Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 6, 2011 10:59 AM

When Keds sneakers were launched back in 1916, the world was in the midst of World War I. The American footwear company has been through plenty of cultural and financial ups and downs since then and it has finally, 95 years into its existence, it is branching out and trying something new: apparel.

Keds began selling its first apparel collection exclusively at New York's indie fashion retailer, Opening Ceremony. The collection, which has about 85 sportswear designs for men and women, launched in OC stores and online on Black Friday, as Women’s Wear Daily notes.

“The Keds brand was founded about the same time that American sportswear was created, so the introduction of apparel is a natural fit for us in many ways,” said Kristin Kohler Burrows, Keds brand president, according to Fibre2Fashion. “We drew inspiration for this initial collection from American style icons who have worn Keds over the past 100 years," icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Onassis, Paul Newman, Humphrey Bogart, and Natalie Portman.Continue reading...

brand collaborators

Christian Dior Opens First Pop-Up Store, at Art Basel in Miami

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 30, 2011 06:31 PM

Here it comes. You can’t avoid it. It’s “the most prestigious art show in the Americas.” It’s Art Basel, the annual art festival that takes over Miami Beach as soon as it turns nippy in New York and other climes. This year it's running from Dec. 1-4, pulling in “more than 260 leading galleries” from around the world, according to its site.

When you put that kind of art into that kind of location, a whole lot of money is likely to change hands. And where there is money, there is opportunity. At least, that’s what the folks at Christian Dior seem to think. So they set up the company’s very first pop-up shop in order to take advantage of the number of moneyed folks who will all be in one small geographical area.

Don’t think the space is going to be little, though. This pop-up is 3,100 square feet, “an explosion of fluorescent color and visual stimuli, a meld of Plexiglas and endless video screens” with “mannequins (that) sport black wigs dip-dyed in party pinks and purples,” according to Women’s Wear Daily. There’s a nail salon in the back and a food truck out front that serves French pastries and coffee. There’s a photo booth and rotating DJs and a game night that will feature “pinball and foosball tables” that have “designs inspired by the various necklaces, rings and bangles in the collection.” Naturally.

The pop-up isn’t the only ground broken by the iconic design house. The featured line is the first to be a partnership between Dior and an outside artist, German Anselm Reyle, WWD reports.

When Dior initially asked, Reyle didn’t exactly jump at the chance, WWD reports: “I waited a bit at first because it’s not the usual thing for artists to do such a collaboration,” he says, according to the site. “I had to think about it.” Three days later, he agreed.

Prices on the fluorescent-camouflage items in the Dior x Reyle collection, by the way, “range from $310 for a resin bangle to $4,500 for a metallic lambskin Lady Dior,” Women’s Wear Daily reports. Naturally.

[image via]

doing good

Deutsche Bank, UBS and Unilever Remain Steady Arts Patrons

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 13, 2011 12:03 PM

Since the start of the global recession, plenty of companies have shut down, entered bankruptcy, or laid off a good chunk of their workforce. Yet, as the Financial Times points out, some corporations manage to continue funding large museums and exhibitions, such as Deutsche Bank’s sponsorship of England’s Frieze Art Fair.

Deutsche Bank is so steady that it didn’t seem to bat an eye earlier this year when Frieze decided to also throw a fair in New York and another one alongside the one that already sprouts up in London, the FT notes: Deutsche went ahead and sponsored both of them, too. 

UBS sponsors Art Basel and Miami Basel; Unilever’s dollars are tied up in an annual commission at the Tate Modern. Other such brands as Converse, JP Morgan, Louis Vuitton, and Agnès B give as well. But despite these instances of corporate generosity, overall support for the arts by corporations has fallen 20 percent, according to a report cited by the FT.Continue reading...

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