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Alexandra Richards and Ben Taylor are the new faces of Lucky Brand jeans, but denim maker has eliminated its magazine ad budget this season.

Lucky Brand

Ben Taylor and Alexandra Richards in the Lucky Brand campaign.

Photo By Courtesy Photo

GENE POOL: Rock ’n’ roll progeny Alexandra Richards and Ben Taylor are the new faces of Lucky Brand jeans — but don’t look for them in any print ads this spring. In a telling omen of the economic difficulties facing both publishers and marketers, the Liz Claiborne Inc.-owned denim maker has eliminated its magazine ad budget this season. Instead, Lucky Brand is focusing on the Internet and store events to raise awareness for the brand.

The Michael Bernard-lensed images of Richards, who is the daughter of Rolling Stone Keith Richards and model Patti Hansen, and Taylor, the son of musicians James Taylor and Carly Simon, will go up on the Lucky Brand Web site when the campaign launches around Valentine’s Day. Apart from their celebrity genes, Taylor is a musician in his own right, and Richards is a DJ, model and fixture on Manhattan’s social scene. Photos, videos and biographies of the two will be sprinkled throughout the site, and the duo become part of the brand’s Lucky Few marketing theme — which began this past fall and features young creative talents from the worlds of art, music and social activism.

The new campaign will also go up in Lucky Brand’s 180 retail stores, which the company is placing a renewed focus on as a marketing tool. “We want to become the neighborhood jeans store again,” explained Kristin Patrick, vice president of global brand marketing at Lucky Brand. “Beginning this spring, we are going to have more events at our stores featuring local musicians and artists. And we’re going to do small things like have a bowl of water for dogs outside our door. We are such an optimistic brand, and we want that to show, because everyone could use a little optimism these days.”

While pooches may be satiated by Lucky Brand’s new marketing tactics, the company’s recent magazine partners are likely thirsty for ads. This past fall, the brand’s advertising buy included Vogue, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Details, In Style, Paper and Fader, among other titles. Patrick said the elimination of print this spring was likely temporary. “Magazines will always be relevant. We are just trying something new this season.”

— David Lipke
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