In different times, we’d typically be featuring a number of efforts celebrating women’s accomplishments given that March is Women’s History Month. Though the pandemic seems to have eclipsed marketing efforts tied to major events and holidays, here’s a notable one from sneaker brand Keds and creative agency Joan.
Back in the 1920s, Keds published a pamphlet called “The Hand-Book for Girls,” which included everything from fashion tips to instructions on washing a dog, a recipe for peanut brittle and interesting bits of history (like the fact that 161 American women, or “girls,” lost their lives during the World War I effort).
In 2020, the brand teamed with Joan to reintroduce the manual in time for International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month. Now, it’s dubbed “The Keds Hand-book for Women” and tells the stories of strong females who have been “rewriting” the rules of womanhood and doing things their own way. It aims to be a movement and platform to encourage women to be their true selves, “because by showing the world that there is no ‘one’ or ‘right’ way to be, we pave a path for more acceptance, compassion and understanding for all—something Keds has stood for for over 100 years,” the brand said in a statement.
“At Keds, we’re a group of mostly women (and a few good men), so we get how frustrating it is when brands try to tell women how they should look and act,” added Keds VP-Marketing Lisa Lewis. “We modernized the hand-book as a way to embrace our heritage in a new and fresh way.”
The first issue of the handbook centers on the theme of “power,” and among the 28 accomplished women featured within are Aja Mayrock, author of “The Survival Guide to Bullying;" Meena Harris, founder of the Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign; mental health expert and founder of boutique The Little Ark, Nina Westbrook and Alana Mayo, an exec from Michael B. Jordan’s production company Outlier Society.
Keds worked with a team of more than 70 women to create the book, including photographers, makeup artists, stylists, videographers, illustrators and typographers.