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Shoppers Unite! Saks to Launch Shepard Fairey Campaign Today

Known for his DIY street art OBEY in the late 90’s, and more recently for his Obama ‘Hope’ poster, artist Shepard Fairey is teaming up with Saks Fifth Avenue for their latest marketing effort.

The campaign includes Russian Communist inspired artwork on limited-edition bags, window displays, catalogs and an in-store presentation, all hitting stores on March 12.

Saks Spring campaign

Saks' Spring campaign

The campaign is inspired by the bold graphic designs and propaganda tone of Constructivist art. Though a controversial move, Saks sure could use the attention. The luxury retailer has felt the recession’s sting, recently announcing a $98.8 million loss.

Smart move, Saks. After all, Fairey has developed into one of the most influential street artists of our time. Despite the cloud of controversy surrounding him, his work can now be seen in museums and galleries, graphic design, signature apparel, and now: your favorite upscale department store.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

Terron E. Schaefer, the senior vice president of marketing at Saks recently said, “What we do every day, really, is propaganda.” Read the whole article at Pretty fierce stuff, but this could definitely be seen by Fairey’s fans as a major sell-out move. What do you think?

Obsessed with well-designed packaging and everyday objects? Check out some related links I found:

  • The Dieline is chock full of fresh ideas in package design. From the latest soda bottle concept, to clever music packaging- critique a design or suggest your own.

    Wine bottles by Let it Grow

    Wine bottles by Let it Grow

  • Looking for a chic fly swatter or watering can with as much form as it has function? Check out the new Design Center online or here at the IMA.
Dr. Skud Flyswatter- $20

Dr. Skud Flyswatter- $20

  • On May 14th, you can meet film director Gary Hustwit (Helvetica) and see his latest documentary, Objectified,  about the creative process of product design. The film features designers who shape our manufactured environment and our interfaces with mass-produced objects including the people behind IKEA furniture and the iPod.
Objectified move poster

Objectified movie poster

Filed under: Current Events, Design, Marketing

11 Responses to “Shoppers Unite! Saks to Launch Shepard Fairey Campaign Today”

  • avatar

    This may be a bit OT, but regarding the Toby, I’d really like to be able to get a proper calendar view of upcoming events. Maybe it’s there and I’m missing it, but everything I’ve seen from the printed schedule to the web site is bucketed by series or event type. I’m ok with filter capabilities, but there should be an easy way to get a standard calendar or list view that is comprehensive. Thanks.

  • avatar
    Rob Stein Says:

    Hey Urbanophile,

    Yes, you’re right… I think our calendar is an area of our site that could really use some work. We’re going to be addressing that problem and a number of other improvements in a few months.

    In the meantime, you can always see an up-to-date listing of films and performances in the calendar section of our website (see Since the Toby’s our new favorite flavor, most, but not all, of these events are held there!

    Thanks for the good feedback! We love it. -Rob

  • avatar
    Ray Says:

    I don’t think Fairey is a sell-out for doing commercial work. How cool would it be to make a name for yourself by basically giving a big F-U to consumerism and then have the capitalist dogs come knocking on your door and asking you to re-design their shopping bags? But I do think he’s a sell-out for his hypocritical stance on copyright and trademarks.

    More thoughts here: – Fairey, Obama and Fair Use

  • avatar
    MWD Says:

    Shepard Fairey’s street cred died today of an apparent overdose of commercialism. It was 13 years old.

  • avatar
    Terry Says:

    I’m not a fan of his work at all, and find the hype surrounding it very strange, but if he finds a way to make money- good for him. Street cred and living up to others expectations are both over-rated.

  • avatar
    Mark Says:

    A little “commie like” don’t ya think?

  • avatar
    Capitalist Says:

    I’m totally offended by this work. My grandfather fled with his brother from Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution leaving behind his parents and sisters. It was a frightening time in history. In fact, they could not get into this country because of the Red Scare! Eventually, he was able to come to this country and become a citizen. Communism tears families apart! Saks and Fairey are over the top on this…..insensitivity, insensitivity, insensitivity, insensitivity, insensitivity, insensitivity, insensitivity, insensitivity……..

  • avatar
    amy Says:

    Communism has killed over 100 million people…100 million! Why would they try to capitalize on that? Unbelievable! I will NEVER shop at Saks again.

  • avatar
    Emily Says:

    Communism didn’t kill people, people killed people.

    It’s a bold style that references graphic art from the fifties and sixties as well as campaign posters.

  • avatar
    Liberty Says:

    “It’s a bold style….” Ha. Get the stick outta your b***. Put your pinkie down when you drink your tea. And climb off your high horse. COMMUNIST people killed people. This isn’t acceptable, unless you are a communist.

  • avatar

    Not that I want to draw attention away from the Communism talk….. but my first thought upon seeing the above “Slouchy Bag” pic was of J. Howard Miller’s “We Can Do It!” poster or Rockwell’s Rosie the Riveter. With Rosie in mind, looking at this tiny woman armed with a slouchy bag is almost comical. I doubt she could wield any power tools or lead any feminist movements.

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