Slyvie & J

Insight: Upscale fashion retail is all about the bag. Big Idea: Make the Sylvie & J shopping bag the most sought-after shopping bag in LA by giving the brand a complete make-over and a newsworthy re-launch. Result: Everything my agency created during our 3-month integrated campaign was a near sure-fire way to get worldwide press, create buzz within the jaded fashion community, build brand awareness, and perhaps most importantly, increase store traffic, which we did by 500%, thank you very much. 

Agency: 86 the onions (Los Angeles)  Role: Writer, Creative Director, Business Development, Account Manager

My cousin started the whole thing. I told him I needed some advertising help, and he said he knew these guys who were innovative, who thought outside the box. What the hell that meant I had no idea, but I was willing to listen. They came up to see our store. They wandered around, poked in here and there, asked a bunch of questions. They had spiked hair, and aglets through their ears. They said they’d be ready in a week or so to present their ideas. I figured my deposit check was wasted, but I was determined to remain open minded. Their place was definitely outside the box. The conference table was a ping-pong table—and they played on it. I thought I was in for trouble. But they seemed serious enough, and they served wine with crackers. That had to be worth something. When we sat down, they talked about the various tiers of the launch campaign. I said we would only do them all if it made me do backflips. Wind up, I thought. Pitch. And pitch they did. A campaign that was and so startlingly simple, but so arresting and memorable, that I had nothing to say. Not even a wisecrack. They looked worried. “I’m doing backflips”, I said calmly. And I took out my checkbook. Forget that the stunts were so attention-grabbing that they ended up in newspapers, magazines, websites, and on TV. Forget that our bag models were on the fashion network in France. They showed us how to spend a little bit on paint and paper bags that changed the whole look of our store. They made me proud to go in every day. And they made customers drop by in droves. Our sales nearly tripled. We got the biggest bang for any buck I ever spent. Now, at dinner parties, I take all the credit. Please don’t tell my cousin.
— Jed Cohen, Sylvie & J