American Marketer


Tod’s presents photographic exhibit to show ingenuity

February 27, 2015

Promotional image of David Bailey for "Stardust" Promotional image of David Bailey for "Stardust"


Italian apparel and accessories brand Tod’s is co-producing a retrospective on British artist David Bailey in Milan to show its contemporary appeal.

From March 1 through June 2, the Pac Art Pavilion Contemporanea will host an exhibit that features five decades worth of portraits taken by Mr. Bailey, titled “Stardust.” Sponsoring exhibits allows brands to align themselves with an artist’s work as consumers visit.

"Through co-producing the exhibit, Tod’s is aligning their brand with an influential historical period, as well as iconic figures that transformed the image of popular culture," said Shamin Abas, president of Shamin Abas Public Relations, New York.

"Immersing their brand within the context of London in the 1960s demonstrates Tod’s worldly appreciation for art, culture, and ingenuity while underscoring the brand’s own influential role in shaping the status quo," she said.

Ms. Abas is not affiliated with Tod's, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Tod's did not respond by press deadline.

Mod to Milan

Tod’s began teasing the exhibit on social media on Feb. 24, sharing a short 15-second video.

In the film, a frame is placed around portraits as a slideshow plays, showing just the subjects’ eyes. Included is Mr. Bailey himself, shown with a red star over his right eye.

Facebook post from Tod's

Along with the film, Tod’s tells consumers to “Stay tuned to discover more.”

The brand has created a hub of its Web site for Stardust. Featuring a different design from the rest of Tod’s site, this page is bright red with black accents.

Here, the consumer can read about Mr. Bailey’s career, including his place as “one of the founding fathers of contemporary photography.” In the early 1960s, he helped shape the feeling of the times, eschewing more rigid traditional photography and instead capturing the feel of popular street culture. During this same time frame, he shot models Jean Shrimpton and Penelope Tree, helping turn them into stars.

Tod's Stardust hub

Screenshot of Tod's Stardust hub

Tod’s tells consumers “Drawing inspiration from Modernism, Bailey injected a sense of movement and immediacy into his work by using a very direct, cropped perspective.”

A second tab on the page, labeled “The Exhibition,” shows consumers a four portraits from some of Mr. Bailey’s infamous subjects, including The Beatles and Jack Nicholson.

"By incorporating David Bailey’s work into their brand story, Tod’s is speaking to dynamic consumer demographic with a shared appreciation for the cultural arts," Ms. Abas said. "Older audiences that lived through the era and have a pre-existing emotional connection to Bailey’s work may look at owning products from Tod’s as a way of reviving and preserving their own personal experience with time period.

"In turn, younger generations who appreciate Bailey’s influential role in popular culture might look at Tod’s as an attainable and tangible means of validating their identification with the 1960s counter-culture encapsulated within Bailey’s work."

Sponsored content
Luxury brands frequently team up with artistic endeavors to highlight their own creativity.

Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton is boosting its presence in the art world with a renewed sponsorship of the Grand Palais exhibit, “Monumenta.”

Monumenta, presented by RMN-Grand Palais, chooses one artist to create a large-scale work to be displayed in the historic building each year. As a French company, being involved in this major Paris art event, also sponsored by the French Culture and Communications Ministry, will help reaffirm LVMH’s ties to the art world (see story).

Tod's often supports culture within its home country of Italy, but recently it has branched out to focus on creatives elsewhere.

The brand's spring/summer 2015 men’s campaign took inspiration from architecture.

As the first chapter in its “Italian Travel Diary” series, the campaign uses American architect Philip C. Johnson’s Glass House as the set, enabling consumers to explore the building as the models do. Making a comparison between fashion and architecture enables Tod’s to highlight its own design (see story).

Similarly, this art affiliation will further Tod's position within the creative community.

"Tod’s association with the exhibition will strengthen their influence within the art world as well as align the brand’s image with the against-the-grain 'casual-cool style' perpetuated through Bailey’s work," Ms. Abas said.

Final Take
Sarah Jones, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York