Karmaloop strengthens brand push

BOSTON: Online urban-fashion retailer Karmaloop has hired Pitch Control PR as its AOR to boost awareness and position the brand as "truly a hybrid of commerce and entertainment," according to CEO Greg Selkoe.

BOSTON: Online urban-fashion retailer Karmaloop has hired Pitch Control PR as its AOR to boost awareness and position the brand as "truly a hybrid of commerce and entertainment," according to CEO Greg Selkoe.

One key PR initiative revolves around the scheduled October launch of Karmaloop TV. The street culture-focused Web network will feature videos by, and interviews with, the musicians, designers, actors, and visual artists that are most influential to streetwear culture - and most relevant to Karmaloop's "fashion-conscious, edgy, [and] trendsetting" consumers.

The target audience, 18- to 25-year-old influencers, already shop on Karmaloop.com, which serves as a one-stop retail outlet for brands including Adidas, Harajuku Lovers, and Rojas, as well as from "handpicked, up-and-coming designers," Selkoe said.

Still, even the most loyal Karmaloop shoppers have had to go elsewhere to get street culture-related content, he said. With the launch of its TV channel, the company's goal is to meet consumers' needs under a single brand.

Initial publicity will include a booth/TV studio at Las Vegas' Magic fashion tradeshow in September, where Karmaloop is slated to conduct interviews with urban "ikons" including DJ AM, Clinton Sparks, and Shepard Fairey.

Other campaign components include tapping into brand evangelists and industry tastemakers via e-mail, blogs, and social networks, said Sarah Cirkiel, CEO at New York-based Pitch Control PR.

Efforts also include celebrity outreach, viral marketing, and traditional media relations to business trades and music, fashion, and lifestyle publications.

Karmaloop has worked with PR firms in the past, including Brand Pimps & and Media Whores, said Selkoe. Lately, though, it handled efforts in-house. But when referred to Pitch Control earlier this summer, Selkoe said, "the timing was right" to again add an AOR.

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