Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Rant On The Evolution Of A Brand's Image

I've been holding back but no longer can.  It's sad, sad, sad for me to see the evolution of a brand that I hold so dear to my heart.  I'm talking about none other than kate spade, a company where I spent over 6 wonderful years in the early days.  You'll see below some of my favorite ads or images from look-books that are so perfect in their simplicity.  And then you'll see what I'm talking about...how ads now are like the animated version of kate spade with no soul. 

I loved the edge the company used to have and it almost felt like a secret - while the rest of the world thought it was nothing more than herringbone bags & ruby red velvet ballet flats, those behind the scenes and in-the-know knew otherwise.  It was a little British with a splash of Japanese and a dash of The Ice Storm and a very late night at The Chelsea Hotel.  A friend and former co-worker said he felt like there used to be quirkiness, but also mystery and some darkness...now it's just in your face color and pop, a piece of strawberry flavored bubble-gum.  Take a peek and see what I mean:
THE EARLY YEARS
THE NEW DIRECTION

What do you think?  Do you like the old or new kate spade?  And p.s. the recent Carolina Herrera ads have been reminding me a little of older kate spade ads. 



















12 comments:

Long Island Style said...

eek gads! I couldnt agree more! I would never recognize those new ads as Kate Spade. Not in a million years. Here's to the oldies, but goodies!

Kat said...

Love the oldies much, much better!!!

Anchor Cottage said...

Wow!!

Farmchick said...

Living in the boondocks as I do, you might not think that I adore Kate Spade, but I do. However, I do not like the new direction the look is moving toward. Love, love the old KS.

Your Southern Peach said...

No contest here...the old ones do it for me. LOVE those older ads.

It feel Coach tried to use a similar strategy of marketing to a younger crowd, which totally turned me off for a while. But now they seem to be turning back to more classic look which I really like.

Great post!

JMW said...

Tiffany, you are so CORRECT! I adore the older ad campaigns - they were scenes I wanted to jump into. And I love your description of them: "It was a little British with a splash of Japanese and a dash of The Ice Storm and a very late night at The Chelsea Hotel." Seriously, with a sentence like that, you and I would make such great friends. :)

Susie @ Maddie's Nest said...

Yikes, I honestly wouldn't have recognized the new ones immediately as being Kate Spade. I may have guessed Anthro. Definitely liked the old ones better and agree with previous poster about Coach going a similar direction for a while. The name of my old firm was hatched from a meeting at the Carlyle hotel...random....but though of it when I saw the image.

Joslyn said...

i totally agree...you can really see how things shifted with the departure of the Spades...

Rachael said...

I love the oldies as well. They feel cool without trying and real at the same time. The new ones aren't as 'relatable'. They feel a little Juicy esq. Very interesting. Lets hope for the old Kate to make its way back!

Beth Dunn said...

I love the older ads! So much so I wanted to be those women. The new ones don't bother me that much, but I don't know a lot about advertising
xoxo
SC

Tessa said...

wow. i find this facinating and could spend longer than i dare admit disecting the ads. i worked as a brand manager in my former life and i could easily write a brand character ("if your brand were a person who would she be") statment for the early ads and a brand character statement for the current ones and they couldn't be further from each other. what has happened?? strategy/target shift maybe? such a shame. i might say the same thing for j crew lately too.

Jennifer B said...

I couldn't agree more Tiff! Spot on the new stuff is just plain gawdy!!