Forever 21 has bought into a new offering from Campbell Ewald as it seeks to boost the cultural relevance of its brand. The fashion retailer has named The Salon, a cultural consultancy the agency launched earlier this year, as its culture agency of record, it revealed on Friday.
There was no formal pitch or incumbent for the business. Campbell Ewald declined to share figures related to the size of the account.
The Salon assembles “culturally curated teams and culture coaches that provide context and uncover insights to help brands connect with consumers in more meaningful ways,” according to a press release.
“The moment I started dialoguing with The Salon and CE, I knew we could do something totally unique and relevant. The model of connecting with culture is truly cutting edge and is central to our efforts to transform our brand,” said Winnie Park, CEO, Forever 21, in a statement.
Known for fast fashion, Forever 21 is facing a changing consumer base that cares more about sustainability and the environment than keeping up with the latest trends. Like other retailers, Forever 21 is also adapting to the rise of e-commerce.
Park joined as CEO in January to carry out a digital transformation that will make the brand more accessible across channels, including experimenting with new technologies like the metaverse.
“I feel strongly our brand speaks to the need for customers to self-express as opposed to having someone tell them how to dress or what is on trend,” she continued. “With social, customers are telling us that they can be many different things based on how they show up and leverage fashion to reflect their mood and identity. I’m excited about our new initiatives as we look to connect with our customers in new ways through social, the metaverse, on our site or in our stores.”
For The Salon, the remit will include incorporating more influencers into Forever 21’s marketing strategy, said Chelsea Smith, cultural coach and influencer lead, Campbell Ewald, in a statement.
“Forever 21 recognizes that everyone is an influencer,” she said. “Many brands make business decisions that don’t reflect consumers’ interest because they don’t engage with them. We are working with Winnie and her team to make a seat at their table for influencers as we plan out our moves in today’s culture.”
Overall a key goal of the relationship is to keep up with changing consumer shopping habits, said Michael Shawn Tucker, managing director, The Salon, Campbell Ewald, in a release.
“The American consumer is changing. And fast,” he said. “Winnie’s vision means that we’re creating a connected experience authentically made for the shifting consumer, from advertising to in-store to e-commerce. Oftentimes brands make business decisions based on demographics alone. We bring the voice of the consumer, literally.”