Arctic Monkeys' cool rubs off on knit brand

Because the popularity of Scottish knitwear brand Lyle & Scott had peaked in the 1980s, it wanted to rejuvenate the 130-year-old brand. It hired fashion and youth marketing specialist Stephanie Churchill PR.

Campaign Rejuvenation of Lyle & Scott
Client Lyle & Scott
PR team Stephanie Churchill PR
Timescale April 2003-December 2005
Budget Undisclosed

To launch the men's Vintage collection by paying homage to the label's 1980s heyday, and highlight to women the 1950s Dior archive. To encourage fashion press to reassess Lyle & Scott's
offerings, and support the opening of the brand's first standalone store, in London's Covent Garden.

Strategy and Plan
A two-year plan was created to drip-feed messages about the brand's authenticity, heritage and fine craftsmanship. To launch the Vintage collection in 2003, a men's brochure, 'Looks Book', was created – styled by Maxim and The Sunday Times Style men's fashion editor Tom Stubbs.

To launch the women's Dior range in 2004, the team used New York-based fashion photographer Maciek Kobielski and model Julia Stegner.

For the 2005 store launch, consumer and lifestyle press were invited and given the chance to sample the clothes. In a bid to maintain coverage, the agency teamed up with Italian beer brand Peroni to host a series of Saturday events at the Covent Garden store, offering punters ten per cent off clothes and free beer.

To further convince the target 20-somethings of the brand's streetwear cred, the PR team focused on product placement with celebrity stylists, hoping to have the stars photographed in Lyle & Scott gear. Stylists included Rachel Zoe, who advises actress Keira Knightley on fashion.

Measurement and Evaluation
The Vintage launch was covered by most of the men's glossies, including Loaded, Maxim, FHM, Esquire, i-D and GQ, as well as The Independent, The Guardian and The Observer. The resurrection of the women's Dior collection featured in Elle, Instyle, The Times and You.

The store opening was followed up in the fashion pages of the Evening Standard Magazine, among others.

Lyle & Scott claims to have achieved an impressive increase in coverage from the campaign. In the past six months, bands such as Arctic Monkeys, Razorlight, Kaiser Chiefs and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been photographed in Lyle & Scott gear, as have Will Young and Knightley.

Since 2003, stockists of the brand have risen from six outlets to 150, and now include Selfridges, Urban Outfitters and John Lewis.
'It may not be strict PR, but the boys in the office have seen the Arctic Monkeys wearing the brand and are now mainlining it,' explains Stubbs.

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