Tadashi Yanai and Jeff Rudes of Fast Retailing and J Brand.
Japanese retail giant Fast Retailing Co, owner of Uniqlo apparel chain said it will buy an 80.1 percent stake in U.S. denim maker J Brand Holdings from Star Avenue Capital and J Brand managers for $290 million to gain more brand clout in the United States.
[dropcap]J[/dropcap] Brand best known for their denim, has set 2012 as the year of their rebranding with the push of a new sportswear line and the launch of a new ad campaign. By far its most expensive ad campaign, costing upwards of 1 million dollars, and the first for the company in its use of an outside art director, the LA brand’s campaign holds nearly as much weight as the polished looks it advertises.
Design director of the new sportswear line, Donald Olivier, chose former creative director of Interview magazine Karl Templer to serve as the art director as well as the stylist. With her precisely cut blonde hair and angular face mirroring the simple lines of the clothes she wears, Suvi Koponen a new Finish model, functions as the female face of the campaign. Shaun DeWet, the South African model and veteran of ad campaigns for designers such as Calvin Klein, Yves Saint Laurent, and Gap is said to personify the new sophisticated look and attitude that J Brand would like to associate with the company.
With projections that there will be as much as 30% growth this year’s earnings to, 2012 is certainly the right year for the elevation of J Brand. The ad campaign is a single element of a multipart plan to have the brand transition from a denim line to a full on fashion company. Barneys New York has chosen to carry the new sportswear line, adding itself to the already long roster of J Brand retailers. The new line’s price points vary highly from that of its denim counterpart, with pieces starting at $275 and going up to $1,500. Both the price point and design of the sportswear line will appeal to a whole other demographic of buyers, but do not fret; while the classic denim is not featured in the new campaign J Brand knows where their roots lie and have no plans to discontinue their trademark denim.
Photos Courtesy of Women’s Wear Daily