CULTURE FOR BRANDS
CULTURE FOR BRANDS
I have been harnessing the power of culture to help companies tell their stories for more than a decade. Whether creating content for global brands, writing features for leading publications, or editing one of the world’s most influential magazines, culture is the thread uniting my creative strategy – writing about it, creating it, and helping brands use it to engage audiences more deeply. Create culture, not campaigns.
As well as seven years as editor of cult British style and culture title Dazed & Confused, I held the position of Executive Director, Brand Messaging (Creative) for four years at MAC Cosmetics, the globally leading multi-billion-dollar cosmetics brand owned by Estée Lauder. Based in New York for the last five years, current clients include Gucci, Coach and Net A Porter, while I regularly contribute to publications including The Times (of London), i-D, The Gourmand and AnOther Magazine. More details below.
For four years, I held global responsibility for all brand voice, including all messaging around collections, campaigns, social media, e-comm, product launches, events, and creating content for celebrity collaborations from Miley Cyrus to Rihanna.
I also created an original content program that articulated the brand’s point of view on popular culture, fashion and music, featuring individuals such as designer Jeremy Scott, Garbage singer Shirley Manson, and adult performer Stoya (above). In a few months, these drew in over a million visits while more than doubling average engagement time, while creating high engagement on social channels.
I became the Editor of highly influential British fashion & culture magazine Dazed & Confused in 2005. There, I collaborated with the likes of Daft Punk, Bjork, Grimes, the White Stripes, Jake & Dinos Chapman, and Vivienne Westwood for cover features and special issues, as well as interviewing many other characters both well-known and obscure from the worlds of music, fashion, film, art and activism.
I was part of the team that developed and launched the highly successful online counterpart Dazed Digital in 2006, and edited the publication through many milestones, including its most commercially successful issue (2008), the magazine’s 200th issue (with guest-editor Bjork), and its era-defining 20th-anniversary special, featuring exclusives with Riccardo Tisci, Aung San Suu Kyi, Gareth Pugh, Lana Del Rey, Kenneth Anger and many more.
A selection of covers from the period is below.
I have a powerful vision for how high-quality, carefully curated storytelling can effectively articulate a brand’s point of view while increasing engagement.
I’ve developed and directed creative concepts for a wide variety of wildly sexy projects, sometimes as part of a wider team and sometimes independently. I’ve also created taglines, written and directed short films, created brand-owned publications and programmed talk series.
Recent creative work:
Gucci – writer on set with Gucci since 2017. Work includes FW17 nine short videos with the Gucci space aliens reading scenes from our original sci-fi movie 'Gucci and Beyond'; the FW18 ‘Curious Collectors’ interviews videos; Pre-Fall 2018 'Gucci Dans Les Rues' videos with students passing love notes in class; the SS18 video with artist Ignasi welcoming viewers inside the 'Gucci Gallery'; plus filmic captions for the 20 AW16 campaign images shot in Tokyo; interviews on set for Cruise 18; Gucci x Dapper Dan interviews, Re(Belle) bag name, work on fragrance and beauty campaigns, and more.
CDLP – brand consultancy: tagline, brand story, manifesto and editorial guidelines for stylish, ultra-premium Swedish mens underwear brand.
Louis Vuitton – New York Travel Guide, 2018. Editor, Arts & Culture.
3INA – brand consultancy: brand story and mission statement (The 3INA-festo), tone of voice guidelines, brand positioning and DNA.
BN3TH – re-branding: name and identity for this sport/lifestyle underwear brand.
M·A·C Cosmetics – original cultural content channel for website & social media – concept and execution. 'M·A·Czine' – quarterly publication, editorial direction and brand storytelling.
I contribute features to The Times (of London), including exclusive cover interviews with Hollywood stars Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Jesse Eisenberg, Bryce Dallas Howard and Michael Sheen, artists such as Laurie Anderson and Gregory Crewdson, and legendary avant-garde composer Steve Reich.
I also contribute to magazines such as AnOther Magazine, Dazed and i-D, as well as independent titles such as music magazine BEAT, and food and culture journal The Gourmand.
In 2017, I founded the arts and activism publication Good Trouble, which was commended for Magazine of the Year and Cover of the Year at the 2017 Stack Magazine Awards, and won a D&AD Pencil for Creative Excellence. Issue 2 was published in summer 2018, receiving press in It's Nice That, 032c, Dazed, i-D, MagCulture, Monocle, Stack and more.
You can read a selection of recent articles below.