Woolrich is partnering with musicians for a new campaign called “American Soul Since 1830” designed to embody the brand’s 187-year US heritage. Partnering for the Fall 2018 collection is singer Lauryn Hill in her first fashion campaign.
“American Soul Since 1830” is being launched just in time to take advantage of Hill’s tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. In addition to becoming the brand’s first spokesperson, Hill customized several designs that will debut at Woolrich stores and retailers throughout North America and Europe.
“The opportunity to work with Ms. Hill was the perfect start to our ongoing ‘American Soul’ project, highlighting Woolrich’s American heritage,” Andrea Canè, creative director of Woolrich said in a press release. “We wanted Ms. Hill to bring her unique artistic eye to the product and DNA of the brand so we invited her to put her own spin on these classic Woolrich styles, reflecting her interpretation of ‘American Soul.’ ”
In a video spot for the campaign, Hill is filmed in New York City wearing Woolrich outerwear such as an Arctic Parka that she customized with appliqués and screen printing. A quote from Hill scrolls over the video, playing a slow, spare version of her 1998 track “Ex-Factor.” It’s no coincidence that they filmed in Harlem, where Hill shot the video for her 1998 single Doo Wop.
Woolrich has a long history interwoven into American history, from making wool blankets for Civil War soldiers and inventing the “Pennsylvania Tuxedo.” In the last few decades, the brand has expanded to other countries, but the “American Soul” campaign will remain in the US.
The brand’s “American Soul Since 1830” campaign uses Hill’s description of soul music as an example of how tradition and survival are an integral part of US history—what it means to have “American Soul.”
“American soul music, to me, is a continuum, a tremendous legacy of tradition if you will that communicates love’s survival—through hardship, suppression and other challenges,” reads the campaign video.
The Lauryn Hill collaboration, in tandem with the five ambitious Woolrich flagship stores being opened around the world, suggests a slight rebrand for the company; one focused on the worn-in, almost-200 year history of the fashion label.