With Bella Hadid headlining its new ad campaign and a new partnership deal with Farfetch's Black & White Division, DKNY is trying to connect with consumers on multiple levels.
Starting with Hadid and her 10 million Instagram followers seems to be as good a place as any. For the new campaign, the IMG model was shot by photographer Collier Schorr, who also did the honors for Saint Laurent.
The new ad campaign and partnership follows just a few months after G-III Apparel Group Ltd. wrapped up its deal late last year to acquire Donna Karan International for $650 million. In turn, DKNY co-creative directors Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne exited the company last month, along with DKI chief executive officer Caroline Brown.
The new ads feature Hadid walking confidently dressed all in black wearing sunglasses down a city street with an American flag set against one of her in a black crop top with black jacket. There is also mention of how DKNY's spring collection "is inspired by Midtown in New York — steely gray buildings set against a vibrant blue sky strikes a feeling of optimism and hope."
A two-page spread features Hadid with a handbag and watch on one page and her wearing sunglasses and a cross-shoulder bag in another. Morris Goldfarb, chief executive officer and chairman of G-III Apparel Group, said, "Bella represents the evolution of DKNY under the leadership of G-III. She is confident, contemporary and socially relevant. We are thrilled to have her representing DKNY to bring back the power and energy to the brand,"
The campaign breaks today, and Hadid will make an in-store appearance at DKNY's SoHo store Wednesday night.
To help ramp up its digital efforts, DKNY tapped the West 25th Street advertising agency Wondersauce to help fine tune its message and relaunch its site. In the never-ending chase to simplify and accelerate e-commerce for shoppers, DKNY is trying to capitalize on Farfetch's proprietary technology. Now shoppers will find such features as intuitive navigation, individualized messaging, wish list features, a localized homepage and a fully responsive mobile platform.
In addition, Farfetch Black & White's key technologies allow the brand to manage its own product fulfillment, and offer same-day shipping in New York, London, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, with Manchester to follow. Like Adidas and other brands that are using digital-rooted purchases to remind consumers that they still have brick-and-mortar stores, DKNY global flagships will be part of the new fulfillment strategy since shoppers can opt to pick up and return products directly in stores.
Aiming to have more compelling visual stories, the site will have larger images, more avant-garde photographs, increased editorial content and products. The e-commerce redesign is the end result of a yearlong collaboration with Farfetch Black & White, Wondersauce and DKNY executives.
Born in New York and raised in New Jersey, Schorr said she understood the concept of DKNY on the street "because the story is about the freedom and creativity we associate with New York." Having worked with Hadid and her brother Anwar (whom she "adored"), the photographer said she and Hadid "both had some apprehension about being on the street. It's not my comfort zone to have so little control and for Bella there is no way to have a private moment on the street."
"At one point, my assistants and some paparazzi got into a heated argument. Everyone felt very protective of Bella. And Bella herself was protective of the pictures wanting our shoot to be our own, and not fodder for paparazzi," Schorr said. "It was all very hectic and very New York and that's probably how it was meant to be."
Schorr will have her work featured in a more serene setting this spring, when "Double Take," a group exhibition at Skarstedt bows in London is held from March 7 through April 22.