Are Musicians Driving the Return of Juicy?

Rihanna attends the 30th FN Achievement Awards
Greg Allen/Invision/AP

Rihanna attends the 30th FN Achievement Awards, presented by Footwear News, at IAC Headquarters on Nov. 29, 2016 in New York City.

They’re baaaack! And they’ve got Rihanna’s stamp of approval.

Juicy Couture track suits, the ubiquitous off-duty celeb uniform of the early 2000s, have seriously upped their fashion game since the days when Britney Spears and J. Lo were paparazzi catnip while traipsing to the grocery store or pumping gas in their velour sweats. Some 21 years into it’s history, the brand finally took a giant step closer to its couture namesake when the edgy, high-fashion brand Vetements walked its Juicy collaboration down the Paris Couture runway this July. Vetements designer Demna Gvasalia emblazoned “Juicy” in sparkling sequins along the sleeves and across the plush backsides of his re-envisioned high-glam track suits, in one of 18 brand collaborations with for its Spring 2017 collection.

It wasn’t just an ironic wink. It struck a chord with critics and stylish risk-takers like RiRi, who’s already worn garments from the collection to two high-profile occasions. She donned a pair of black Vetements x Juicy Couture sleeves while accepting her win for Shoe of the Year for her Fenty Puma Creeper on Nov. 29 in NYC, and she’d already sported looks from the collection during a performance at this year’s VMAs.

That musicians would lead the charge makes sense for the brand, which was founded by Duran Duran bassist John Taylor’s wife Gela Nash-Taylor and Pamela Skaist-Levy, and eventually acquired by Authentic Brands Group in 2013. Over the years, the brand’s been increasingly inspired by “rocker chic” looks (branching out with concert-inspired tees, moto jackets, leather prints and chokers), featured the music of LL Cool J, Blondie and Joan Jet in its digital campaigns, and shot ads on Sunset Blvd in close proximity to famed music venues like the Whisky a Go Go and Viper Room.

“Music plays a very integral role in Juicy’s brand identity,"explains Nick Woodhouse, CMO and President of Authentic Brands Group. "The art of music and the lifestyle of celebrities and musicians is very influential to the design, branding and marketing campaigns." Woodhouse also notes that “iconic musicians such as Madonna, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears have supported Juicy Couture throughout the years—and continue to do so today.”

The key difference now, thanks to the Vetements collaboration? The brand’s not just being rocking down the supermarket aisles or on the way to yoga class, but on the Paris runways and the red carpets of some of the most glamorous nights out. You’ve come a long way, Juicy. 

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