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Lord & Taylor this week launched a new campaign“Fall Fete,” and announced “reimagined and reinvigorated” merchandising that encompasses women’s, men’s, children’s and expansions in beauty, travel, accessories and home; a host of brands, including Mos Mosh + V Italia, ICHI, Atelier Reve and Charles Tyrwhitt, exclusive to it in the US; and a new logo.
The 200-year-old department store reopened online-only last year under new owner Saadia Group, which had bought its intellectual property for $12 million at a bankruptcy auction the year before.
Then-owner Le Tote, an apparel rental site, had acquired Lord & Taylor in 2019 for $75 million from Hudson’s Bay Co. The pandemic stymied its plans, and all remaining physical locations closed permanently a year later.
This campaign reflects Saadia Group’s confidence in Lord & Taylor — for decades a department store catering to the middle class well known for its chic dresses — though Creative Director Tim Bitici in an Instagram post cautions, “Don’t call it a comeback.”
The launch includes an overhaul of the fashion retailer’s iconic cursive logo, based on the handwriting of longtime executive Dorothy Shaver. After her arrival in the 1920s, Shaver went on to make her mark on Lord & Taylor’s fashion merchandising and its midcentury store architecture in American suburbs nationwide. Lord & Taylor’s Bitici in a statement describes the new nameplate as employing “a classic, yet modern Helvetica font … juxtaposed … with a transparent ampersand to add that extra edge.”
The wild-party vibe of a video accompanying the campaign suggests a move away from suburbia where many Lord & Taylor locations were once anchored malls. It features people of all ages and ethnicities from a variety of locales, including Iowa, South Carolina and Texas, jetting (and even rocketing) off to a fancy gathering.
“Our goal was to digitize the brand and create an elevated online experience,” Bitici said of the campaign overall. “We wanted to create a diverse, multi-generational fall campaign that spoke to everyone, and the fall campaign shot by Max Papendieck does just that.”
Papendieck is an Australian photographer who has shot for Vogue and high-profile brands including Ralph Lauren and Alberta Ferretti.
The online-only reboot comes as consumers have adjusted many of their behaviors, returning to stores to shop after being forced to depend on e-commerce during much of the pandemic and growing more cautious about discretionary purchases amid stubborn inflation, though higher-income consumers are less so, according to recent research from Morning Consult.