THAT’S RIGHT, THIS IS FOR MEMBERS ONLY

Are YOU a member?

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The 80s. The number that symbolises so much – from blaring colours and experimental chaos to nostalgic nuances of a time that propelled youth pop culture to where it is today. For those who experienced this era, the heavy fashion influences reign most memorable. Names like Esprit, Sergio Valente, Chuck Taylors and Jordache Jeans were some of the most well-loved during this time, however, there was a brand that was a little different in regards to publicity and that brand was ‘Members Only’.

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Members Only was founded in New York 1975 by Jaggi Singh and offered a line of jackets that were first introduced to American markets in 1981. During this time was the American ideological shift to consumerism and materialism, in which Members Only was quick to take advantage of, putting forward their tagline “When you put it on, something happens”. This marketing created a sense of exclusivity and as a result, everyone wanted to be a part of this ‘club’. The brand made sure to emphasize the fact that ‘you were either a member or you weren’t’.

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The brand took off and became such a hit, it was making 100 million in sales by 1984; a colossal amount in that period. Unlike other brands that used celebrity endorsements to promote their products, Members Only became so successful that they actually grew bored with this mainstream process, and so turning to social issues to ‘make their mark’. Millions of dollars were invested in campaigns such as the 1986 ad on anti-drug use and the pro-voting campaign during the 1988 election which featured Adolf Hitler. These defying decisions were risky but it worked and sales increased 15%.

Clever marketing and risk taking ultimately made Members Only one of the most recognised and memorable brands in the 80s, and for a brand that only made jackets, that was quite the achievement.

 

 

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RAISE YOU HAND IF YOU KNOW THIS BRAND

The ‘SWOOSH’ that changed the world.

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Just about everyone knows what this iconic tick symbolizes, or have at least come across it. But how did this simple ‘swoosh’ come to represent what it does today? What comes to mind when we think of Nike? Is it sneakers? Is it that slogan that went viral after Shia LaBeouf repeatedly screamed ‘Just Do It!’? Or the empowering ads that look too good to be true?

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Unlike other brands that focuses on selling a product, Nike sells emotion, aspiration, dreams and victory. From the beginning, they wanted to tell stories; stories that have the ability to make us feel, stories that tapped into our emotions and moved us. And they certainly did that. Their first ever brand ad was revealed in 1977 with the tagline ‘There is no finish line’ and interestingly enough, this ad featured zero product but a single photo that spoke volumes.

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Nike also prides itself for its innovation and modernity, through the 1989 film that started it all – ‘Back to the future II’. Featuring an ambitious self-lacing sneaker, the film instantly elevated Nike’s brand image to where it is today.

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The brand continuously sponsors the highest profile athletes, sports teams and celebrities which explains the desirable status symbol one attains by adorning a Nike product. Not only is Nike associated with sport, the name is also now a significant part of hip hop culture, street style, music and the intangible aspects like status, empowerment, perseverance and achievement.

Who knew a simple tick-shaped ‘swoosh’ would eventuate to symbolize so much.

 

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