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Taylor Swift is the new face of the Keds rebrand

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Kanye West caused mild outrage (but that is his raison d'être) at Glastonbury last month when he declared himself as the “Biggest rock star on the planet,” but the truth is, he isn’t even close. In fact, that mantle belongs to Taylor Swift. Now, it’s unlikely you’ll find Miss Swift chucking a television from the balcony of a Holiday Inn or releasing a concept album about the plight of the Gurkhas anytime soon, but if you consider what a rock star really is (a zeitgeist defining icon), then (rather depressingly) she fits the bill, because she is bloody everywhere and everyone and his cat seem to be in love with her.

Taylor Swift has lent her brand to the launch of a new platform dubbed “Ladies First Since 1916” for American footwear brand Keds

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The makeup of the modern pop star is roughly 10% musician, 20% personality, 30% entrepreneur and 50% product, and Swift covers all bases with aplomb, so it comes as little surprise to see her adorning the latest rebrand for American footwear brand Keds, who the country dame turned pop starlet has been representing for a while now. This time she’s lending her brand to the launch of a new platform dubbed “Ladies First Since 1916,” which is (according to the brand) “Inspired by women who create their own paths, make their own rules, and harness the power of femininity and strength,” and is being launched a year ahead of the brand’s centennial. That same statement sounds like it would feel right at home in one of Miss Swift’s songs so the choice of spokesperson makes a lot of sense.

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Created in partnership with Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, Ladies First showcases the Keds Fall 2015 footwear collection with progressive messages that celebrate the new notion of what it means to be a woman in 2015. Insights from more than 10,000 women from eight countries helped to define the campaign, which is based around themes of constant evolution, setting your own path, and not being defined by a specific style. Bold headlines are front and centre over street style photos for a one-two punch of fashion and emotion. As a man with about as much fashion sense as a sprout, there’s obviously little here for me to connect with, but considering the media coverage given to female empowerment of late, the message is a clever and timely one.

Keds on Tour: 1989

Jonah Bloom, co-chief strategy officer at KBS+, said: “Everywhere you look today young women are taking charge of their personal narratives. We were inspired by this new generation of women who are demolishing anachronistic notions of feminisms, such as the idea that feminine style and career success are somehow mutually exclusive. Promoting women isn’t a new concept for Keds but the Ladies First campaign celebrates the future by inspiring the current generation of boundary breakers.”

Created in partnership with KBS+, Ladies First showcases the Keds Fall 2015 footwear collection and celebrates the new notion of what it means to be a woman in 2015

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Keds president Chris Lindner said of the new campaign: “A new generation of women has been leading an exciting cultural shift redefining the conversation about equality and female empowerment. Keds was originally created in 1916 to provide ladies with accessible, fashionable footwear to allow them to be who they wanted to be, and go where they wanted to go.  Ladies First is a celebration of amazing women like Taylor Swift who are blazing new trails every day. From CEOing to BFFing, these ladies are doing it all.” He also added: “Keds is approaching its centennial year in 2016, and the Ladies First platform is the start of a powerful new era. The headline ‘it’s not a running shoe, it’s a run the world shoe’ is a pinnacle expression of what we stand for.”

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The campaign features other female talent, both on and off camera. In addition to a few other models, the ads employed notable female artists to make the backdrops—including illustrator Priscilla White, surface artist and pattern designer Kendra Dandy, and street artist Paige Smith. The media plan combines retail, social, print and digital (publishers include Nylon, Paper, Interview, Refinery29 and WhoWhatWear) with wild postings, bus wraps and subway media in many of NYC's most artistic neighbourhoods.

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Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and struggling musician from Kidderminster in the UK who still doesn’t know quite what to make of Taylor Swift, but admires her moxy!

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