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Digital-First J.Hilburn Taps Uber—and Charm—for New York Pop-Up

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 4, 2014 01:42 PM

J.Hilburn has become one of the fastest-growing custom menswear brands in the world with a direct-to-consumer business model. But to capture even more of its potential, they’ve opened a pop-up store in Manhattan at the trendy Refinery Hotel, running through November 15th.

The New York-based custom apparel line—founded in 2007 by ex-Wall Streeters Veeral Rathod and Hil Davis—has sold more than 500,000 custom shirts across 48 U.S. states, and will deliver over 40,000 made-to-measure suits in 2014 alone.

The brand's promise is a custom experience for every man who shops with them. “We sell a value proposition, personalized fit and luxury products,” Davis told the New York Times back in 2011. “Retail is about customer transactions. It should be platform-agnostic.”Continue reading...


Gap Goes For Awkward, Remains Monosyllabic in Holiday Campaign

Posted by Abe Sauer on November 3, 2014 03:01 PM

It may be hard for any 20-something today to imagine, but there was a time when Gap was the coolest. Before the widespread invasion of H&M and its peers, Gap had a nation swing dancing—literally. In 1998 and 1999, Gap ads like "Swing Time" and "Swing a Go Go" had America be-bopping and the brand's stock price breaking $50 a share. Gap was cool, daddy-o.

Then, the party ended. Since 2000, Gap's share price has dropped below $10 twice (first in 2002, then again in 2009). More recently, it's managed to climb back to around $40, but largely because of billions and billions of dollars in buybacks since 2004, the most recent in Oct. 2004.

What Gap has not been able to buy back is its cool. From the (RED) campaign to throwback 1969 themes to celebrities—so, so many celebrities—to a desperate logo redesign in 2010, nothing has helped. So anyone's forgiven for rolling their eyes at the announcement that Gap was bringing in bleeding edge cool directors David Fincher and Sofia Coppola with the launch of a short art film series.Continue reading...

tech style

Athos, Ralph Lauren Up the Ante on Wearable Technology

Posted by Tom Shanahan on October 24, 2014 02:12 PM

Wearables, wearables, wearables.

They’re everywhere, yes. And now that Apple’s jumped on board and wearable tech was a all the rage at last month's New York Fashion Week, it’s certain the craze will continue, and perhaps morph from a craze to a way of life.

Technology companies are now expected to build products that seamlessly fit into our lives: make them smaller, give them straps, attach them to faces and so on. But what if you don’t want to look like you’re wearing technology? What if you want the technology, but not at the expense of style?

Luckily, there are a few brands leading the charge, not by building technology first, then thinking of a way to wear it, but about design a great piece of clothing, then creating the technology to go with.Continue reading...

sporting brands

Reebok Draws $2.2 Billion Bid to Owner adidas as Both Brands Seek Fresh Start

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 20, 2014 08:45 AM

Back in 2005, it cost only $3.8 billion for adidas to buy Reebok, the sports shoe and athletic wear brand founded in England and named after a South African antelope. Unfortunately for Germany’s sportswear giant, it hasn’t proved to be a good investment and now struggling itself, it's set to unload Reebok, according to the Wall Street Journal.

adidas shares rose on the news Monday morning of the rumored offer by “an investor group that includes [Hong Kong-based private equity firm] Jynwel Capital and funds affiliated with the Abu Dhabi government” for $2.2 billion. It would likely be happy to see the Reebok name off of its ledgers since its sales continue to fall, dropping by more than a third since 2006 to $2 billion last year.

This should have been a boom year for adidas as it sponsored the FIFA World Cup in Brazil—but as Interbrand's new Best Global Brands report comments, it "did not gain quite the competitive edge expected." And as Reuters notes, its shares were down 41 percent this year before the day started. It remains unclear, though, if the top brass at adidas will accept the $2.2 billion offer for Reebok.Continue reading...

celebrity brandmatch

Heidi Klum Expands Brand by Taking Over Elle Macpherson's Lingerie Gig

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 17, 2014 02:25 PM

As brand ambassadors go, supermodel Elle Macpherson has been identified with lingerie for years—25, in fact, working with New Zealand manufacturer Bendon to develop an eponymous line that has been available worldwide in a reported $150 million deal.

Now the 50-year-old and Bendon are parting ways, with another blonde model taking over as the face of its lingerie line: Heidi Klum, who has helped keep herself in the spotlight by hosting Project Runway since its debut in 2004.

As a result, Elle Macpherson Intimates will become Heidi Klum Intimates in January, but Macpherson will keep the naming rights to her three underwear labels, while Bendon keeps the rights to all of the designs.Continue reading...

see you in court

Chuck Amok: Nike’s Converse Sues Big Brands Over All Star Knock-Offs

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 15, 2014 12:56 PM

More than a billion pairs (give or take) of Converse Chuck Taylors have been worn on basketball courts around the globe, but now the 97-year-old brand is hoping it can pull out a few wins in a totally different court: the court of law.

Nike’s Converse has filed suit against 31 companies, including such big names as Walmart, Kmart, Ed Hardy, Skechers and Ralph Lauren, claiming that its All Star trademark has been infringed upon and that imitations of its iconic athletic shoe must stop being sold, the BBC reports.

The legal action covers a lot of geographic ground since some of the companies are based in Australia, Italy, Japan, and China. In addition to the suits, Converse has also asked the International Trade Commission to ban imports and sales of the imitation shoes.Continue reading...


K-Swiss Takes Its Change of Direction Literally

Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 9, 2014 01:02 PM

Tennis shoe manufacturer K-Swiss has been hitting America’s courts since 1966, and the execs behind the brand are apparently feeling like it needed a bit of a fresh look because K-Swiss suddenly has a new logo that marks a shift for the company.

In its previous logo, a red, white, and blue shield with the word K-Swiss at the top had five diagonal stripes running down from the left to the right. Now the name of the company has been moved out of the shelf altogether and the stripes are running more optimistically up from left to right. According to Business Insider, K-Swiss says the move shows “the brand’s momentum towards the future.”

If that weren’t enough, the brand also now its own blue, Brunner Blue, named for co-founders Art and Ernie Brunner. The word is that the blue matches “the shade of blue found on America’s most famous tennis courts,” Business Insider notes.Continue reading...


Gap Inc. CEO Glenn Murphy to Hand Reins to Global Head of Digital

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 8, 2014 09:36 PM

In a surprise announcement, Gap Inc. revealed that its CEO, Canadian Glenn Murphy, would be stepping down on Feb. 1 following a seven-year run at the top.

His replacement? Art Peck, the company's global head of growth, innovation and digital since 2012, who joined the company seven years earlier from Boston Consulting Group.

The news came as Gap Inc. reported flat sales for September: Gap Global -3%; Banana Republic Global +2%; Old Navy Global +1%. The company's stock fell 8.1% in after-hours trading on the news.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, Murphy had "reversed a long-running sales slump but more recently has struggled to reinvigorate the company’s namesake brand." He joined Gap Inc. in 2007 from Canadian pharmacy chain Shoppers Drug Mart, where he was CEO.Continue reading...

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