Licensees will buy into the creative work through a series of look-books and assets, incorporating The Gild’s designs into products which will be sold to high-street retailers. The consultancy beat five international design groups and was asked to create a brand that would target 15- to 24-year-old women, a demographic which The Gild creative director Sarah Groom describes as ’notoriously fickle’.
This meant that an ’innovative, but strategically sound proposition was required’, she says. Four collections have been developed with the help of commissioned illustrators, each with seasonal permutations and full guidelines.
Groom says the typologies of all girls in the age group have been established and represented across the collections, which are a ’response to youth-oriented music’. She adds, ’In the universe that we have created they will be able to pick out a representation of themselves.’
The Carnival collection is bright, optimistic and hedonistic, and carries a narrative which Groom describes as ’being out at a carnival with friends in an inclusive environment’. The illustrations for Carnival are by Ray Smith, who has taken inspiration from musical and cultural references, including records, posters and vintage Japanese packaging.
The Grace collection, illustrated by Londonbased Indian-born illustrator Jitesh Patel, is positioned as ’a secret garden in a girl’s imagination’, according to The Gild, where nature can be explored ’with charm and innocence’. Digital and hand-drawing techniques have contributed to a layering effect.
The Antennae collection has been illustrated by Emily Forgot and draws on science, psychedelia, Surrealism, folklore and pop culture, referencing Japanese landscape paintings and record sleeve art. The Alternative Universe collection has been illustrated by Bangkok-born Pomme Chan and interprets nature, fashion, architecture and music through watercolour and line-drawing, with a dark colour palette which The Gild says contributes to ’an edgy, yet feminine range’.
All four collections are presented in lookbooks that carry the look and feel of each theme. Alternative Universe, for example, has a heatsensitive cover which reacts to touch.
- Nickelodeon Consumer Products, which handles merchandising for MTV, appointed The Gild to the brief in June 2009
- Guidelines include suggestions for clothing styles, though licensees are free to choose how they appropriate The Gild’s designs
- Patterns, colour palette, composition, iconography, packaging and point-of-sale applications are laid out in the look-books