In honor of Mad Men’s valiant return, Kempt is proud to present the second in a series of profiles of some of the most thought-provoking individuals working in the ad game today—real-life Drapers, if you will (minus the brown booze and nooners.)
“When’s everything going to go back to normal?” So asks a defeated Roger Sterling in the final moments of last night’s episode of Mad Men, realizing that the industry he helped create has morphed into one he no longer understands. Modern-day Roger Sterlings likely feel the same way after meeting guys like Ian Schafer, founder and CEO of Deep Focus, a digital marketing and social media agency enlisted by Pepsi, L’Oréal, Nike and dozens of other iconic brands to help them engage a radically different consumer in a world riddled with uncertainty.
Liquor trends come and go, but the next big thing is never more than a marketing push away. The latest candidate is sherry, which just got a surprisingly tongue-in-cheek website courtesy of the Sherry Council for America. (A high point: The site’s “exclusive” enough to require a secret password to get past the front page, but the site immediately informs you that it’s just “password.”) Still, we’re more concerned with the future of the country’s bar scene.
We’ve thought sherry was underrated for quite a while, partially due to the name (the only order that sounds girlier than “appletini”) and partially by association with more common port wines. But we’re also not sure it’s due for a tequila-style revival just yet. Sherry falls in a box with wine and scotch—tasty, but hard to market. The new site gives a tip of the hat to mixology through an extensive cocktail list, but this seems like one drink that’s better straight. Which means it may be a little slow catching on.
If this polo shirt looks familiar, it should. You’ve probably seen the American Apparel version on at least a dozen skinny hipsters by now…you just haven’t seen it in this size.
Don't look for it in stores, though. This one comes from Colossal Clothing, a new brand that deals in American Apparel styles and fabrics recut for less emaciated frames. Every tron jacket and henley is still made in Dov’s own factories, but the cuts are brand new and the shape is unlike anything you'll see on a billboard.
Our friends at Style Salvage just joined the ongoingconversation about the luxury industry's response to the recession with some wise words. The takeaway? "There is definitely a sense that the industry has lost its way." There's a new kind of customer out there, and firms need to figure out what the new customer wants.
But don't get too nervous; it's nothing a few bloggers can't sort out.
Usually we want our liquors to be as artisanal as possible. We want them stored in musty oak barrels in obscure parts of Europe, crafted lovingly by inarticulate old men with beards, and delivered to us in packaging that reflects the whole beautifully anachronistic process.
But we can’t all be artisans...and “scientist” isn’t bad as a backup. Elements of Islay's whisky line bucks the usual warm design aesthetic in favor of chemical-looking beakers and table-of-elements labeling. Of course, the contents are more or less the same barrel-aged concoction, but you’d never guess it from looking.
Marketing has become a bit of a dirty word lately, but it has a lot more to do with modern fashion brands than anything that comes out of a factory. After all, where would Tom Ford be without a few well-framed photographs?
With that in mind, Commonwealth Utilities had a good idea. The label is a back-and-forth collaboration between designer Anthony Keegan and marketing guru Richard Christiansen—Anthony provides the clothes while Richard provides the image—and the fact that they go back a decade-plus doesn’t hurt. The advertising end has been impressive so far, with a perfectly designed shirt package and a lookbook shot with a UFC fighter, but naturally, we’re a little more interested in Mr. Keegan’s contribution.
If their Spring line is any indication, we’re about to see a lot more high-buttoned blazers. And we love a well patterned pocket.