September 10, 2008

YARD Creative Director Stephen Niedzwiecki Steers Edgy New Campaigns for John Varvatos, Converse By John Varvatos and LeSportsac; All Win 38th Annual Creativity Awards

NEW YORK, Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- A new season ... a new rock icon, playful/provocative "Get Chucked" attitude and Bag Girls/Bag Guy from the thinking creatives at boutique agency, YARD, in serial ad campaigns for clients John Varvatos, Converse by John Varvatos and LeSportsac respectively.

Just this month, YARD's campaigns earned six accolades in the 38th Annual Creativity Awards. This included both a Gold and Silver Award for LeSportsac's Bag Girls, another Silver and a Winner Award for The John Varvatos Collection campaign, and two Winner Awards for Converse by John Varvatos -- Get Chucked.

President and Creative Director Stephen Niedzwiecki founded YARD in 2002, and broke tradition when he didn't opt to name the agency after himself -- but on feelings invoked from a journey through California streets where he noticed how all the homes, while homogenous and cookie cutter from the front, were bursting with life in their backyards, each with their own unique personalities and DNA.

Explains Niedzwiecki, "Historically, a lifestyle marketer had two options in choosing an advertising partner: an agency who could create a beautiful fashion image or a strategic/consumer motivator who wasn't good at executing style. YARD is a hybrid. We inspire creativity yet nurture emotional connections with consumers because our deliverables are strategically grounded. The result is creative work that feels like a breath of fresh air, yet is relevant and appropriate enough to seamlessly appear second nature."

"We attract clients who are looking for smart creative, grounded in consumer insights," adds Ruth Bernstein, YARD's Director of Brand Strategy. "It's not by chance that the Sundance Channel, John Varvatos, Converse, Method, Smartwater, Vitaminwater, Gap Kids -- brands that combine style and substance -- are YARD clients."

To accomplish YARD's creative-strategic amalgam, one example of the way they bring their hybrid approach to life was the employment of Ethnographies, the anthropology-based study to determine what consumers truly desire. Such was the recent experience while working with client Method on one of their product lines.

"We brought the designer with us from the get-go during the strategic phase so that they could take aesthetic and tactical cues from the consumer's life and from their own environment," says Jason Keehn, Director of Client Services. "And that inspiration coming directly from the source enriched our creative process so much more than just working from a written brief, and the resulting creative was that much more grounded and relevant to the consumer."

For Fall/Winter 2008, YARD Creative Director Stephen Niedzwiecki has unveiled three provocative new ad campaigns. John Varvatos' love of rock and roll music is legendary, therefore it made sense for Niedzwiecki to cast Grammy-nominated music documentarian and photographer Danny Clinch behind the camera for this work for his client of five years.

"Clinch's unobtrusive style emits an authenticity which is right for the John Varvatos brand and appealing to a no-frills male consumer," said Niedzwiecki. "His soulful black and white imagery confidently stands out in the fashion arena."

Jane's Addiction frontman/lead Singer Perry Farrell is the face of Fall/Winter 2008, along with a NYC pigeon and twin Great Danes. By featuring Farrell in his latest ads, Varvatos/YARD pays homage to "alternative nation," a real cultural focus and voice.

Reflects Niedzwiecki, "Farrell and his peers display a contemporary look of the time but are timeless artists who young generations will want to know AND discover."

Print ads will run in upcoming issues of (alphabetical order) Best Life, Details, Esquire, GQ, Hamptons, Interview, NY Times T Style Magazine Men's Fall Fashion, Rivera,, Vanity Fair, Vegas, Vman, PLUS 15 bus shelters in both New York City and San Francisco.

The Fall/Winter 2008 "Get Chucked" campaign was created by YARD and shot by Ryan McGinley for the Converse brand and its premium apparel line with designer John Varvatos. Florent was chosen as the backdrop and focuses on models Daisy Lowe (stylishly donning a vintage-inspired fake fur leopard skin coat), and Liam Wade (playfully holding a white dinner plate inscribed with "Make Love" written in ketchup).

A very exciting part of the season is the 60-second short film YARD created to further extend the "Get Chucked" brand experience, which will make its debut at the Toronto Film Festival in September.

According to Niedzwiecki, "The film isn't a hard product sell. Rather, it's about entertaining the consumer and connecting him to the brand. The film captures relatable late-night antics. Who hasn't been out with friends and wanted to jump on the counter for a 'Flashdance' moment? Or eat and run? It's the ultimate in 'Getting Chucked.'"

Look for print ads in (alphabetical order) Dazed and Confused, Details, Elle, Fantastic Man, Flaunt, GQ, Interview, NY Times T Style Magazine Women's Fall Fashion, NY Times T Style Magazine Men's Fall Fashion, Out, The Daily, Visionaire, Vman and Vogue.

In addition to (premiering September 5), the film can be viewed at, and, as well as in New York City and Los Angeles during Fashion Week (and ). There will also be guerilla projections of the film around the NYC and LA, as well as projections of it in upscale bars, plus hybrid billboards that contain both static and video media in NY.

To find models for LeSportsac handbag campaign, YARD looked no further than its client's closet to construct the women whose body parts are the different bags. Still-life photographer Bela Borsodi, collaborating with prop stylist Jerry Schwartz, shot the ads.

According to Niedzwiecki, "This campaign goes to the root of what this brand has been about since 1974. We use the original logo, zipper pull effects. We highlight the products of the season in a manner which speaks to the lighthearted voice of the brand. The bag girls and guy not only showcase the product perfectly, they also convey the versatility and broad appeal of the brand. Each 'Bag Girl' and 'Bag Guy' represents one of the many personalities within LeSportsac's diverse fan base."

For Fall 2008, the Bag Girls will venture out into the real world for the very first time. One is shown seated on a New York City subway car, compact in one black-leather gloved hand with the other holding a shade of red lipstick ready to apply to her "this could be any woman's" face. Two other images depict Bag Girls in artistic surroundings -- one strolling in a museum with her Bag Guy and the other painting a masterpiece on her own art studio canvas, decked out colorfully in bright red pants with LeSportsac labels and a fashionable beret atilt on her head.

The new LeSportsac ads can be seen (alphabetical order) in InStyle, Lucky, NY Times T Style Magazine Women's Fall Fashion, NY Times T Style Magazine Men's Fall Fashion, Teen Vogue and Vanity Fair.

   About YARD   

YARD is a New York-based agency that marries an artistic eye for image-making with a strategic gut for brand-building. Since its founding in 2002, YARD has created a range of award-winning global advertising campaigns in print and television. YARD applies an expertise that is both style-driven and consumer-minded, stewarding brands for such clients as John Varvatos, Converse, LeSportsac, Kenneth Cole, Smartwater, Method and the Sundance channel.

To view the John Varvatos, Converse "Get Chucked" and LeSportsac advertising campaigns, please go to For the "Get Chucked" film shot by Ryan McGinley, please go to the Broadcast section of the site.


CONTACT: Leyla Turkkan, +1-212-244-5450 or +1-917-374-8020,[email protected], or Ellen Zoe Golden, 1-800-548-1753,[email protected], both of The Catalyst Group, for YARD

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