Marc Jacobs has always had his thumb on current youth culture, whether it be for his Spring 1993 Perry Ellis grunge-themed collection or his impact as creative director at Louis Vuitton during the 2000s decade that saw the French luxury brand embrace the icons of hip hop and streetwear.
Today, the designer is tapping into the internet generation with its Gen Z forward sub brand Heaven. Technically a revival of Marc Jacobs’ New York City boutique that went by the same name in the 90s, Heaven feels less at a grasp to appeal to today’s youth culture, but rather looks like a natural product of it.
THE TWO-HEADED BEAR
The famous two-headed bear logo has become synonymous with the brand. Playing with the childhood nostalgia of a teddy bear and giving a grisly makeover informs the overall brand aesthetic. The bear has made its appearance in an actually stuffed plush toy, as well as in different iterations seen on graphic baby tees and other clothing and accessories such as a backpack, jewellery and key ring.
90S GRUNGE BUT MAKE IT FUN
Gen Z is a notoriously nostalgic generation and Heaven’s grasp on the 90s grunge aesthetic is the perfect appeal. Ribbed striped knitted sweaters and oversized silhouettes encapsulates the pre new-millenium decade, but is brought into today’s light with the infusion of bold colours and Y2K inspired playful graphics. The brand takes elements from buzzing subcultures, from ravers to skaters, and highlights it in its offering that isn’t limited to clothing. Selling books as the Psychedelics Encyclopedia by Peter Stafford to vintage magazines, it’s clear that Heaven isn’t just about a product but rather an entire world of its customers to fantasise and live in.
THE CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS JUST MAKES SENSE
The best way for a brand to promote itself and tap into its target demographic is through celebrity endorsements, and Heaven’s roster of influencers is never ending. From the fan-favourite thin-eyebrowed Gabbriette used on product shots to Paris Hilton rocking the Cuffz by Linz bag, a reference to an early 2000s design the socialite was known to wear, the brand knows what it’s doing. The most recent lookbook included Ice Spice, Lil Uzi Vert and Michele Lamy, a trio of cast members only Heaven could pull off.
AND SO DO THE COLLABORATIONS
In a time where every brand is collaborating together to make a quick buck, even when it doesn’t make sense, Heaven keeps it simple and on brand. Earlier this year, there was a collab with the alt-metal band Deftones made with Stray Rats and another with Kiko Kostadinov, merging their two youthful identities together. Even when it’s not an official collaboration, Heaven’s reference points are right on the nose – just look at its Sofia Coppola range inspired by the cult-classic film The Virgin Suicides. Heaven finds a way to bring together icons from the past and designers from the present for an offering that always feels relevant to today’s youth.
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