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Ahead of DKNY's runway show today for New York Fashion Week, the brand's newly appointed Creative Directors Maxwell Osborne and Dao-Yi Chow will be putting the finishing touches on their Spring/Summer 2016 debut collection. At the same time, they will be creating content for a digital and social campaign designed to personalize marketing to fans.
In an intiative conceived under the creative directors and DKNY's first Chief Image Officer Hector Muelas, the brand will use Instagram's newly updated messaging feature, Instagram Direct, to provide fans personalized content on how Mr. Osborne and Mr. Chow conceived those designs, ranging from explanatory videos to sketches to behind-the-scenes images.
Fans need to follow looks from the show tagged with the official hashtag #DKNYSS16. They can then use the new Instagram "Direct" arrow to send looks they like to @dkny, after which they'll receive information about the story behind those designs. This content will be sent to only the fans who use the Direct feature, and will not available to everyone following @dkny.
The idea speaks to the ethos of the creative directors, known for their accessibility in an industry built on exclusivity. It's also meant to give consumers information on looks they are particularly interested in and not bombard them with content.
"Even in a city as big and fast-paced as New York, you can still find corners and moments of intimacy," said Messrs. Osborne and Chow in a statement. "Our social dialogue is grounded in that belief."
Mr. Muelas joined DKNY as chief image officer, a sort of hybrid chief creative officer and chief marketing officer, three months ago. Prior to that he was creative director of worldwide marketing communications at Apple, following stints as a creative at CAA, Wieden & Kennedy and as Editor-in-Chief and creative director of Vice Media in Germany and Austria.
Mr. Osborne and Mr. Chow had joined the LVMH-owned brand in April to much excitement in their industry. As founders of celebrated label Public School, the pair have been hot names on the fashion scene, having won the CFDA Award for Menswear Design in 2014 and before that, the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund in 2013. Ad Age and Creativity also named them to the Creativity 50 last year.
Their arrival at DKNY represents an injection of fresh talent into an iconic fashion name looking to modernize its brand. Recently, the company also debuted a new logo presenting the DKNY letters in Franklin Gothic, which Mr. Osborne described to Women's Wear Daily as "a bold American font." Appearing on invitations to the brand's Fashion Week event, it's set between thin black ribbons meant to represent sensuality. Together, they're meant to recall markings on city streets.
The DKNY team conceived the Fashion Week campaign in just a matter of days and produced its content through last night, with the the quick turnaround mimicking the fast pace of the industry. They'll be standing by this afternoon to send responses to fans' Instagram Direct messages individually.