Uni group project | 4th semester
GROUP PROJECT (3 PEOPLE)
KAOS was one of our real clients during uni that we got to work with. The founder of the clothing brand wanted us to create a marketing strategy that communicates its vision and mission to new potential customers.
In this first phase, we got to know the brand and conducted our own research to get to know their target audience, as well as the competitors in the market. We looked at other brands that had either a similar style or a similar messaging (“anti-fashion”, ethical, environmentally friendly, political, etc.) and explored the way they communicate their ethos to their customers.
We also conducted interviews with people to find out if they ever thought about fashion as being political and what their favorite fashion label is (to name two questions from the questionnaire). We then realized that most people don’t really see fashion as a political statement, only a few talked about how buying a t-shirt at H&M is a big political statement in itself since buying it might be beneficial for us but not at all for the people who really should benefit from it, the workers who sew the clothes.
So we asked ourselves why is it that people don’t understand (or don’t want to understand) how political fashion can be and we came to the conclusion that it’s because they’re not directly engaged in the whole process. We then thought about how we could engage with these people and make them become a part of this too.
After understanding who we wanted to address and what problem we wanted to solve, we then thought of different concepts and strategies that fit the brand. We mapped out ideas using (a lot) of Post-Its, evaluated ideas, and had multiple brainstorming sessions.
Nike and Apple have shown that it is possible to build up an image independently of a product. Anti-fashion is almost irrelevant today because almost all possibilities have already been exhausted. No matter what one wears today, it is no longer primarily seen as a statement, but merely as a style, as personal taste. In the age of social media, trends are greatly accelerated. Anything that is different and “cool” instantly becomes mainstream. From the Fidget spinner to the Herschel backpack. If you look at the totality of fashion, there are quite a few brands for each expression. So somehow everything is the same. The only way to distinguish oneself from others is through marketing. This is especially true for KAOS.
Before you communicate anything to the outside world, you should know exactly what you are communicating. We, therefore, asked ourselves what core values KAOS needs in order to establish itself as a political, inspiring brand. And – what story does KAOS want to tell?
Politics is about the expression of views, discourse, and above all the freedom to do so. KAOS has to project these elements into itself. Nike is the brand that says “Just do it” and in this context encourages individuals to achieve their sporting goals. Apple inspires people to dare to do something different and equates them with geniuses. KAOS must be the brand that encourages people to stand up for what they believe in. KAOS must represent the people who protest for their rights. There is injustice everywhere and it is brave individuals who stand up against it to change the world.
In the end, it’s about ordinary people. Everyone has their own struggle, everyone has views they don’t dare to express. KAOS has to inspire these people and say that they are heroes. Because they are the brave ones who speak out when injustice happens and take democracy a step forward. This, in our opinion, is what the brand essence of KAOS should be.
How can KAOS’ core values be realized through a campaign? Our aim is to use participatory art to project the core values of KAOS into clothing. As soon as outsiders are asked to participate, they have to react to something. In participation art, it is often answering a question. The cornerstone of our concept is the question:
“What would you fight for?”
We wanted to pose this question to the general public to make people think and to encourage them to express their opinion. Keeping the concept as simple as possible, we worked out the basic pillars on which everything is built:
- The basis is an inspiring question
- A work of art (picture) is created with the participation of the general public
- The work of art (image) is the answer to the question
- The artwork (image) is incorporated into the clothing in the form of a label
- A story is then told
A total work of art is created from these building blocks. It is about the process of how a snapshot of society is incorporated into a product. In this way, the product not only receives the legitimacy of being part of society but then it actually is.
This way, the core values of KAOS can be implemented very well, because politics is always about opinions and opinions are always answers to questions, situations, and developments.
Based on the pillars above, we came up with the following concept:
We set up a big piece of fabric in the city with the question “What would your fight for”. Passers-by can answer the question completely freely for themselves and then write a statement on the canvas with a marker. When the canvas is full of writing, we take photos of it which can then be used online.
Finally, we come to the most important part of the process. We produce labels from the piece of fabric and sew them into individual pieces of clothing. In this way, we manage to bring the message of the general public as an identity into the clothing in the form of a label. We have given meaning and value to an object, in this case, a garment. The price of the garment thus includes the value or the cost of fabrication AND the emotional and political value.
We shot a video during the event which is suited for marketing purposes on social media for example or to promote the next event in a different location. The video was shot and edited by a group member.