• Transform magazine
  • September 25, 2018

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Kodak fashion partnership creates a new kind of moment

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If it wasn’t painfully obvious from the shell tracksuits, choker necklaces and chunky sneakers, the ‘90s are in fashion right now. As a result, not only are ‘90s fashions popular, but brands that had a heyday of sorts – like Tommy Hilfiger – in the 1990s are finding new relevance in 2018.

For one brand, this may be a blessing in velour. Kodak, of photographic fame, has teamed up with retail giant Forever 21 and fashion brand Hybrid Apparel to launch a line of branded clothes.

Kodak’s popularity as a brand – considering its visual identity and heritage – has never really waned; its relevance as a film company in a digital photography world has proven its main challenge. But, capitalising on the equity in its iconic yellow and red brand, and what that brand has stood for, may achieve a new kind of awareness and popularity for Kodak.

“Kodak has always been synonymous with our life’s best memories, including past, present and even future aspirations,” Bonnie Segall, EVP of new business development, says. “We were able to capture this by leveraging the current streetwear trend and creating a new ‘Kodak moment’ for a new generation of enthusiasts.”

The partnership sees Kodak draw from Nascar aesthetic and its own vibrantly coloured brand to offer a range of 26 items of casual wear. The sportswear-inspired collection feels like a natural fit for Kodak’s wonderfully retro visual identity. A crop top featuring the logo in a ticker-tape fashion around the hem of the yellow top is particularly reminiscent of a film canister of old. And in a nod to that heritage, all the imagery supporting the campaign has been shot on Kodak film.

“Rather than be a fad or trend, we want to retain an aspirational product aimed at our core audience and those that they influence,” Dany Atkins, chief brand officer at Kodak, says. “What could be better for a brand transformation than everyone wearing your logo on a t-shirt?”

That approach has certainly worked for Nirvana, CBGB and Star Wars as their various partnerships have perpetuated the cool-factor for the respective brands. Kodak is also seeking brand partnerships beyond the one with Forever 21, hoping to make the brand as visible as it was when a canister of Kodak film would have been in virtually every camera.

Photos by Jorden Keith, Jared Kocka and Krissy Saleh

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