Levi’s and Opening Ceremony developed a capsule collection of product to be introduced to key influencers during New York Fashion Week. While the brand targeted high-end fashion audiences with the collection, they also needed to remain true to their workwear roots, existing community, and to enter the fashion world sincerely.
Sub Rosa strategized an approach that earned both buzz and sales for the brand while maintaining the principles that make Levi’s a classic American workwear staple.
Levi’s approached Sub Rosa with a unique request: find a way to be present at New York Fashion Week without showing. The capsule collection could do well with the fashion community, but the brand wasn’t interested in a runway show or typical Fashion Week awareness-drivers — they sought something exceptional.
For the first time, Lincoln Center would host Fashion Week and as such, attendees and spectators would be converging uptown – in an entirely new environment and literal departure from the previously downtown location. Sub Rosa established that, for true impact, the brands’ presence needed to be sweeping, and exciting.
Sub Rosa combined a traditional (yet modest) outdoor media spend with a non-traditional media stunt that would drive the desired awareness.
Creative assets for the campaign were designed and deployed across a “station domination” at Columbus Circle – the main subway station for most Lincoln Center visitors.
As the only advertiser in the subway, impact was significant. Thereafter, the campaign continued on the streets: between the subway and Lincoln Center, every manhole cover had been affixed with a custom decal designed to be easily removed. Additionally, “mobile billboard” trucks circled in close proximity and at key intersections, creating a concentration of outdoor media that paid homage to the community of New York City laborers who were also proud Levi’s ambassadors.
The campaign was a resounding success and the capsule collection sold out during New York Fashion Week. The viral buzz of the manhole covers escalated to the point of their being stolen as collector items. In total, the campaign distributed (and redistributed) more than 3,000 custom vinyl covers yielding an approximate media value of $6mm for simply the cost of the printing and distribution.