New York Fashion Week: Innovative brand building


Emerging brands usually don’t have the marketing budget and editorial muscle to build big brands and it can therefore be extremely difficult to get above all the noise and stand out from the crowd. Yesterday, I was thrilled to see two young brands partner with major retailers in innovative ways to build brand awareness.

My favourite guerilla marketers from Rodnik launched their "We are not a rock brand" tour at Barney’s New York. They played to an appreciative crowd of lucky customers and industry insiders, with their sidekick Peaches Geldof supporting Phil on vocals. The guys were understandably excited about the tour which rocks up at one retailer after another, from Colette in Paris to Comme des Garcons in Tokyo to Corso Como in Milan, over the next couple of months. 



For people who had never heard of Rodnik, it’s not likely a performance they will soon forget, what with that 80′s throwback and all that energy. Here’s a sneak preview video of their opening tour song, the surprisingly catchy "How to be Lovely":

Meanwhile, over at Bergdorf Goodman, Bontoni was holding a trunk show to allow customers to experience their exquisitely hand-made and custom-dyed leather shoes for men — the only appropriate way to promote such a unique product, allowing the customers to see it and feel it in person. The 3rd generation Italian family has only recently begun to expand the business beyond its tight circle of in-the-know customers using the combined business savvy of Lewis Cutillo and his cousin Franco Gazzani. Still, they only make between 5-8 pairs per day, so this will remain a very special product, brand buzz or no brand buzz.


It was a busy day overall as I provided Business of Fashion commentary on Rodnik’s growth spurt to Fashion Television (who were on hand to cover the Barney’s event) and filmed some footage with Anina for a new documentary on 360Fashion to be shown on America’s PBS network next Spring.

I also chatted for a while with the very personable self-proclaimed uber-nerd Robert Cringely who will be hosting the show and who is the author of blog called I, Cringely which is an excellent resource for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and technology. While Anina, Robert and I are all very different, the one thing we have in common is our nerdiness and interest in business building. It was great to bounce ideas off of each other.

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  1. My hat goes off to these two emerging brands. Some very nice shoes.

    Andrea C. from Hartford, CT, United States
  2. Imran- It is refreshing to see that you dedicate some space for emerging brands like Bontoni and Rodnik. Judging by the photos, the Bontoni’s appear to be an elegant line of shoes. Keep up the good work!

    Napolitailoring from Hartford, CT, United States