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Rocawear's AW 14 campaign part of its re-positioning scheme

22 Apr 2014

Fashion

Music inspired streetwear fashion label Rocawear, founded by artists Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, Damon Dash and Kareem “Biggs” Burke, has named 'Catfish' inventor Nev Schulman as the face for its Autumn/Winter 2014 campaign as part of the brands ongoing repositioning strategy 

within the European market to  build up its customer base.


Daisy Laramy-Binks, creative and marketing director of Iconix Europe, which is part of the group that obtains the licensing rights to Rocawear in 2007, quickly realized that in order to make sure the brand was as successful in Europe as it was in the US, a few changes to the brands overall image were needed.

“Three years ago we started a process of translating the brand for the European market, and at first there was a high level of doubt from UK retailers that the brand would fit within the European market - we had some hurdles to overcome to make the brand cohesive with European trend styling.” Seeing as the hiphop, over-sized styling trend was never big in Europe, as it was in the US, a new campaign and more fitted-look was needed to connect with European consumers.

Rocawear's new campaign part of its on-going repositioning programme

“To help our consumers rediscover and reconnect with Rocawear and help them see it in a new light, I created a theme for all the European campaigns to follow,” said Laramy-Binks. Three years ago she came up with the idea 'altered perception' and hired Dynamo Magician and Rick Genest, known as Zombie Boy, to star as the faces for Rocawear's campaigns.

“It was a big jump from the US vision of the brand, and a big change, but everyone seemed to love the idea behind the campaigns in the past and now its open to Nev to do something else with the theme.”

Laramy-Binks is fan of Nev's tv show Catfish, which incorporates some of the notions behind Rocawear's campaign, as it centers around unveiling people's true or altered online identities. “I am a huge fan of Nev's, he has a great look and his show really ties in with the theme we have established for Rocawear, something to surprise the consumers and catch them off guard and get them interested in the brand.”

This season Rocawear aims to combine its streetwear style with a more sleek and cleaner style that tied in with European trends. “Especially for the UK, we had to get in line with European tastes and trends, which is more statement based, heavy on patterns and prints but with a more tailored and fitted shape.”

Iconix

Europe German licensee designs the European clothing range for Rocawear and looks at current streetwear trends and combines them with music influences such as Jay Z latest music tours. Rocawear's A/W 14 collection is based on four 'stories'; Roc Statue, Monochrome Roc, Roc Camo and Roc Compass, which combine mainstream basic garments with statement pieces.

Rocawear to relaunch footwear and add womenswear

To be able to offer their customers the whole package, the brand is also in the process of relaunching its footwear range. “The samples just arrived in the office, so its still in its very early stages,” points out Laramy-Binks, and adds that the collection will offer statement standout shoes as well as subtle daywear footwear using a variety of unusual materials. “Ideally we would like to sell the collection to retailers as a whole package.”

In the UK, retailers such as Burton, House of Fraser and etailer Very.co.uk have picked up the range and the response so far has been very positive. “Burton is a great fit for the brand and was very keen to have Rocawear as one of the first brands they offer online.”

Rocawear is set to launch on Very.co.uk within the next few days and House of Fraser has already expanded their offering since picking up the label one season ago. Laramy-Binks hopes that one day HoF will offer Rocawear's full range, including its upcoming womenswear collection. “Rocawear's womenswear collection is still in the design stage though.”

The idea for the womenswear collection was first conceived when Iconix Europe noticed the media's response to the brand and the increasing number of female celebrities such as Cara Delevinge, wearing tailored menswear pieces. So Rocawear decided to create a small womenswear capsule collection in response to the growing demand, which will feature remodeled pieces from the menswear lines.

“Even though there is a niche market for womenswear, Rocawear will always remain a menswear brand at heart. Its where their strength lies.”

Iconix Europe
Nev Schulman
Rocawear