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Legends apparel inspires everyone to find their calling | #BehindTheBrand

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Los Angeles based apparel brand Legends, owned by celebrities including Quavo, Baker Mayfield and Matt Barnes, has revealed a new brand positioning and identity that focuses on harnessing the power of sport and culture to inspire everyone to find their calling.

Seeking differentiation in a congested market, Legends sought out belief-led branding experts BLVR to help solidify its long-term growth strategy and provide a clear and consistent direction for its future.

The new solution redefines what it means to be a legend, encouraging everyone to reach for rarefied air. Through this lens, the brand hopes to seize storytelling opportunities to build an emotionally driven and mentally salient brand that connects with consumers on a richer level.

The move reflects an ongoing shift in the wider apparel industry, where many online direct-to-consumer brands are moving away from short-term performance marketing tactics to more durable brand building. To learn more, we spoke to Austin Lane, Executive Creative Director at BLVR.

What was the brief for the rebrand?

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After devoting its first three years to getting on people’s radars, Legends came to us to help solidify its long-term growth strategy and provide a clear and consistent direction for its future. The founders wanted to take a step back to really consider what they wanted Legends to be and how it looked.

So many DTCs end up failing after only a few years because they neglect to think long-term. Legends was determined to maintain the momentum it had built so far, but evolving it into something with meaning beyond the clothes. Clothes are just the beginning of the impact that Legends can make.

How did the initial pitch/brainstorming phase go?

It was completely transparent from the beginning. Both sides wanted it to be collaborative. We sat in on brand and business meetings, had one-off conversations, and shared inspiration constantly. We acted as an extension of their brand.

Describe the purpose of the brand and its target audience

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Legends was created by Scott Hochstadt and Chip Neff who identified this nuance between the traditional and the modern athlete. Modern athletes are no longer just sporting greats; they have other interests that they pursue, whether that’s music or fashion or politics.

We see a much more rounded version of their personality in today’s world. Legends encapsulates this, combining performance design with a streetwear edge so that it can be worn both on and off the field.

What was your thinking behind the rebranding solution?

Legends already had the cultural relevance to grow organically. Its ownership group includes Quavo, Baker Mayfield and Matt Barnes among other celebrities and athletes, and it’s been endorsed by the likes of Floyd Mayweather and Snoop Dogg.

But any clothing brand can reflect what’s going on now. What the brand was missing was its unique point of view, its lens that it applies to what’s going on in the present, to act as a portal to the future. By working with them to define its foundational belief – ‘find your calling’ – and putting that at the center of everything, the brand now has that strategic lens to drive every decision.

It redefines what it means to be a legend, encouraging everyone to reach for rarefied air. Through this, Legends can seize storytelling opportunities to build an emotionally driven and mentally salient brand that connects with people on a richer level.

Did you learn anything new during the project?

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One thing that clearly stuck out during the process and project was the love and connection to the brand. We felt the passion from the Legends team and our internal team shared that same belief. There was a true dedication to the craft of storytelling, the nuances of design, and building a greater why.

What was the biggest challenge? How did you overcome it?

Creatively, it was digging into their identity. We needed to do the work to see if a new logo altogether was the right play. With that, we also had to pressure test the current identity.

Through that exercise, we experienced the typical rollercoaster of emotions that comes with the creative process. It’s essential though. A lot of heart went into both sides of creation and in the end, gut and belief drove the decision to lean into the legacy identity with some subtle tweaks.

What visual influences fuelled your solution?

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The solution is rooted in why the founders started the brand in the first place, tapping into the worlds of sport and streetwear to cement Legends’ position as a hybrid between the two.

To elevate it further, we opted for an editorial style, injecting aspects of the old school soul often found in the likes of Slam and The Source and adapting it for today’s digital environment.

For example, dynamic, typographic layouts lead the eyes upward, expressing the idea of ‘rising’ and stepping up. Think vertical text and off-axis orientations. Meanwhile, a new typography system made up of two typefaces (one serif, one sans serif) creates a tension that allows for moments of interest and emphasis, especially when combined with such generous use of negative space.

These elements provide fluidity, acting as levers for the brand to pull on based on its need. Whether in a new brand collaboration or a fashion direction, there’s always a sense of cohesion that makes the brand and its content recognisable to its fans.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand?

We hope it gives Legends a baseline for years of storytelling. Young brands often get scared to put themselves in a box, even when it’s one of their choosing, for fear of shutting themselves off from certain audiences.

But in reality, the focus and definition that a clear and strong brand identity provides, with a guiding belief at its heart, opens it up for more opportunities. It means that you stand for something and that’s what resonates with people.

What would you do differently if you could do it over again?

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Honestly, nothing…. But if we had to, we would try to beat/surpass the work we created.

Credit list for the work?

CEO: Scott Hancock
ECD: Austin Lane
Exec. Strategy Director: Maggie Speciale
Exec. Business Development: Lenya McGrath
Account Director: Alec Hanmer
Strategist: Zander Corbin
Design Director: Damin Sterling
Designer: Drew Sutterfield
Copywriter: Joe Nafziger
Animator: Tobias Graves-Morris

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