Amsterdam - Kipling is set to present its new brand direction and vision for the future, one that revolves around remaining authentic to its own heritage, as well as ensuring it speaks to the needs of millennials today.
It may hard to believe that the iconic handbag and accessories brand is already 31 years old, for those of us who grew up in the 90s, it. Best known for its light-weight backpacks made from crinkled nylon and its adorable monkey mascot, the Antwerp-based brand has gone from strength to strength since it began its global expansion scheme in 1996. However, over the years the brand had become a little too stuck in its ways, focusing a little to heavily on its prints and coveted handbags shapes. Which is why the VF Corporation-held brand made a series of changes in its global organisational team earlier this year, who together have set a new course for Kipling’s brand vision.
Vera Breuer, who was named Global President this January, shared some details regarding the brand's new direction during an intimate event in Antwerp on Thursday evening. “We have been busy creating a new look for Kipling, one which will bring the brand back to its roots and make it relevant for millennials today,” said Breuer during the event. “However we have also been capitalising on our best selling bags and on our strong heritage. Although we are not going to present our new brand direction today, we’d like to show you just a hint of what you can expect to come over the next few months.”
Kipling to unveil new brand direction which targets millennials
The event included several stations presenting Kipling’s Fall-Winter 2018/2019 collection, which has been divided into five categories, each addressing a different segment. The ‘Art of Be Seen’ features back to school backpack for children which feature in-built L-light piping and reflective materials for safety for example, while the the ‘Art of Exploring’ features Kipling’s New Classic range, which was inspired by the brands iconic 90s styles, such as its mini-duffel bag and backpack. The ‘Art of Busy’ line offers laptop bags and backpacks designed for busy working women on the go, which include removable pouches and the Art of Style’ sees Kipling continue its design collaboration with contemporary Chinese brand Helen Lee.
In addition to sharing a preview of Kipling’s new collections and brand direction, Breuer also revealed part of the brand’s new store concept. “A new brand direction also needs a new home,” continued Breuer, “which is why Kipling has also developed a new store concept to accompany its vision. As you can see, our new stores will offer a much more urban look.” Based on its home-town of Antwerp, the new concept includes city touches, such as exposed walls, benches and raw materials. Kipling aims to debut its new store interior this June, starting with its stores in Singapore.
Kipling’s event would not have been complete without the presence of its iconic monkey, who came to life in the form of 6 dancers to help unveil its new collections and vision. Although the monkey is set to remain a vital part of the brand, it will become somewhat less prominent in the brand’s styling revealed Breuer to FashionUnited. “The monkey will become more grown up.”
Interested in reading more on Kipling’s new brand direction? Stay tuned to read FashionUnited interview with Vera Breuer, Kipling’s Global President on Monday, May 7th.
Photos: Courtesy of Kipling