This was my second time around at Lord & Taylor. There will not be a third. Twenty years earlier I joined as VP Creative Director shortly after the company was
purchased by May Company. Lord & Taylor once upon a time was a highly regarded "carriage trade" store. But that was many,
many years ago. Since then it has struggled to find its place in a quickly changing retail landscape. New owners have made some great and impressive
changes. Bonnie Brooks, then President of both Hudson's Bay and Lord & Taylor had just begun to work her magic---much like what she did for the ailing
Canadian favorite until she was promoted to Vice-Chairman. Her legacy is nothing short of extraordinary.
The "Obsessed" 2014 fall campaign for Lord & Taylor and Hudson's Bay is an excellent example of what can happen when everyone works together.
A powerful and cohesive creative expression across print, online, in-store, outdoor and broadcast made missing the message impossible. One of the first times
something like this was executed so completely, so perfectly, and across all the US and Canadian stores. The fashion books were shot on smart phones
and we had tremendous social engagement via #Obsessed. A significant step forward in creating a more modern, relevant brand.
(L to R) SWELL was a great find. Tarik and his team put 150% into every spot they did. I was always stunned with the final product. Inspiration from Wes Anderson to Guy Bourdin made everything sparkle.
(L to R) TripTent always comes through with surprising and inspired creative--even when the budget was a number I usually had to whisper to Joe Masi the agency owner. Fresh. Inventive. Always engaging.
NOW with regard to what management should have done: L&T was/is struggling. I put together a series of marketing communications for online, e-mail and print/collateral. The concept was to make the sleepy, old brand more interesting and engaging. I always thought, 'how would I get my daughter to shop here?' The six concepts below were just some of what they could have done--but never had the moxie to do.
Russ Hardin© 2020