celebrity designers

Diet Pepsi Teams Up with Vern Yip for Limited Edition Designer Mini Cans

Posted by Dale Buss on March 29, 2013 03:16 PM

Converging with a major trend in branding, Diet Pepsi asked HGTV star designer Vern Yip to come up with a new limited-edition mini-can that will invite consumers to "Sip in Style" this spring. The soon-to-hit shelves can continues the brands' multi-platform "Love Every Sip" campaign that has starred Sofia Vergara in TV ads.

While arguably Yip comprises only a "light" instance of the phenomenon, Diet Pepsi's collaboration with him also adds to the growing number of partnerships between celebrities and brands to fill or originate "creative director" spots, including Alicia Keys and BlackBerry, Swizz Beatz and Reebok, Marc Jacobs and Diet Coke, Polaroid and Lady Gaga, Bud Light Platinum and Justin Timberlake and Intel and Will.i.am.Continue reading...

retail watch

JCP Tries to Turn the Tide with Markdowns, Chic Home Designers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on March 28, 2013 03:25 PM

J.C. Penney recently resumed its marketing strategy of raising prices, then discounting them on its private brands which include St. John's Bay, jcp and Stafford and Arizona, which generate more than half of the company’s overall revenue. 

"While our prices continue to represent a tremendous value every day, we now understand that customers are motivated by promotions and prefer to receive discounts through sales and coupons applied at the register," JCP spokeswoman Daphne Avila told Reuters.

That means an Arizona crewneck T-shirt with an "everyday" price of $5 now has a $6 pricetag to accommodate a better markdown and arrive at the same price. The move is an effort to reverse a 25 percent drop in fiscal year sales. The practice is common in retail and used by rivals Macy’s and Kohl's.

“The company said that it has now realized that coupons and sales attract more customers and that this is the market trend,” writes Nautilus Investment Strategies on the reversal of CEO Ron Johnson’s earlier "no sale" stance. “Market analysts feel that at this point no strategy change is going to change the fate of the company as a large number of customers have already gravitated towards other retailers such as Target and Macy’s.”Continue reading...

retail watch

JCPenney Hopes to Breathe Life into Retail Sales with Pop-Up Shops

Posted by Brittany Waterson on February 27, 2013 12:37 PM

JCPenney, seemingly a permanent fixture in the news these days, seeks to push past the negative financial and branding headlines and tap into customer experience with their new pop-up shops, which will hopefully garner appeal from designer collaborations. 

The store, which is currently embroiled in a high-stakes trial with Macy's and Martha Stewart over product licenses, has had a rough time since CEO Ron Johnson took over a year ago. The brand's "no markdown" strategy backfired, and word on the street is that employee morale has hit an all-time low at the company's Plano, Texas headquarters. 

However, the company had a moment during the Oscars broadcast. The new campaign, a series of commercials introducing JCP’s latest brand partnerships expanded on last year's rebranding campaign with Ellen DeGeneres. It also boosted activity on Facebook and Twitter, rewarding some followers with gift certificates.

Now, with the success of shop-in-shop brands like Sephora, MNG by Mango, Levi's Denim Bar and Liz Claiborne, the retailer is adding more designers to its in-store boutique lineup and plans to expand to home goods later this spring. Each brand will have their own design aesthetic within their individual shop.

With its in-store designer additions, J.C. Penney joins Target, Macy's (now battling JCP in court over Martha Stewart) and Bloomingdale's as the latest department store to experiment with boutique-style shops. In fact, JCP is stealing from Target's playbook with a new exclusive home goods collection by American architect Michael Graves—Target's first designer partnership, which launched in 1999 and produced a whopping 2,000 items—and Justin Timberlake's William Rast collection, which launched as a Target exclusive in 2010.

Other upcoming JCPenney designer collaborations include in-store boutiques for Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler, Designs by Conran, Watchgear by Tourneau, Carters and Giggles. Here's a look at the in-store boutiques now hitting its stores:Continue reading...

brand collaborators

eBay Pitches Exclusive Holiday Collections From Steven Alan, Billy Reid, Fallon & more

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 26, 2012 11:31 AM

eBay has partnered with seven leading fashion designers on an exclusive new collaboration: the eBay Holiday Collective—an original, limited-edition gift collection of men's and women's apparel, jewelry, travel and electronics accessories and home décor items for the 2012-13 holiday season. Starting November 12, the capsule collections will be available globally, exclusively on eBay's fashion portal, at accessible, "Buy it Now" prices from $50 to $100 and will include free U.S. and international shipping. Above, watch designer Steven Alan discuss the partnership, and below, the designers behind the Fallon, Ruffian and Billy Reid labels. Also involved: Chris Benz, Tibi and Jonathan Adler, who taped his own homage to eBay as part of the brand's "eBay Thanks You" campaign:Continue reading...

fashion week

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Brings Fall 2012 Inspiration to the World

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 8, 2012 07:01 PM

New York Giants Super Bowl champion Victor Cruz cut the ribbon today in a kick-off event for New York's Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, now gearing up to debut Fall 2012 collections starting Thursday morning at Lincoln Center.

There's also a whirlwind of virtual activity in what the HighLow blog calls "the most egalitarian" New York Fashion Week yet, including a Facebook invitation to RSVP to live-streams of the runway shows and join the conversation on Twitter via the #liverunway hashtag.

YouTube and Maybelline will once again sponsor a real-time YouTube channel that will bring 30 of the Fall 2012 runway shows to the world. The runway videos will also be archived at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week YouTube channel.

Cover Girl is partnering with Polyvore and the Fashion Institute of Technology on Polyvore.com/Live, which will see four FIT grads debut their collections to an audience of fashion insiders and bloggers: Lauren Bagliore, Vengsarkar “Ven” Budhu, Sergio Guadarrama, and Dana-Maxx Pomerantz.Continue reading...

Honeysuckle, Rise: Pantone's Hot Color for 2011 Puts Brands in the Pink

Posted by Barry Silverstein on December 9, 2010 12:30 PM

Brands are vying to go green, but maybe they should be thinking pink.

And by pink, we mean the exuberantly retro shade of pink officially known as Pantone 18-2120 TCX, which has just been named the hot color for 2011.

In announcing its next color of the year, Pantone calls it "honeysuckle pink," and a "vibrant, energetic" shade of pink.

Others prefer to call it Mad Men pink.Continue reading...

brand aspiration

Barbie Aims to Inspire Girls

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 27, 2010 04:00 PM

Mattel has expanded its Barbie: I Can Be... campaign with new commercials (there's also a longer version and a making of video). The goal isn't just to sell its I Can Be line of career-minded Barbie dolls, but to inspire girls with real-life mentors such as 21-year-old professional surfer Stephanie Gilmore and kid rock star Marisa, a drummer who plays in a band with her brother.

Earlier this year, Mattel ran a mentoring program, pairing successful role models — such as Marie Wilson of the White House Project, engineer Yoky Matsuoka and fashion designer Rachel Roy — with young Barbie fans who entered a competition.

Barbie and her fans are still about frivolity and fun, however — check out designer Jonathan Adler's real-life Malibu Dream House after the jump. It's worth watching just for the contributions by Project Runway's Chris March.Continue reading...

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