Debut Presentation of Social Primer by K. Cooper Ray (Ties & Blazers Sept. 7th, 2012 during New York Fashion Week to media & buyers.
LAUNCH: After 5 very successful seasons of collaboration with Brooks Brothers under the label Social Primer for Brooks Brothers, K. Cooper Ray is preparing to launch his own collection of ties and blazers under the label Social Primer by K. Cooper Ray during New York Fashion Week on September 7th.
COLLECTION: The debut collection will consist of Cooper's signature reversible bow ties, brand new two-tone long ties and a blazer collection (for editorial consideration only). The debut collection of ties will represent the quintessential all-American prep lifestyle. The fabric is exclusive from legendary silk merchant Stephen Walters from London. The collection will be season-less to encourage stores to carry the collection as an always available vendor with easy re-order and immediate delivery. Subsequent collections will be designed for Spring, Summer, Fall, Holiday and Formal. The debut blazer collection will be offered for editorial and special order in 4-season light wool in classic colors and black for formal. Subsequent collections will be seasonal as well. Proudly Made in America, the bow ties will be produced in the Brooks Brothers tie factory in New York and the blazer collection will be produced by legendary clothier Martin Greenfield in Brooklyn, NY. This will be the first time Social Primer ties and blazer will be available at retail outside of Brooks Brothers and interests is already keen among the best men's stores in the U.S.
PROVEN SUCCESS: Starting in the Spring of 2010 as a limited edition collection collaboration with Brooks Brothers in 10 selected Brooks’ stores in the U.S., the Social Primer for Brooks Brothers bow tie collection is now in over 200 BB stores worldwide. The SP for BB bow ties consistently sell out in BB stores and on the BB website with the current Spring/Summer 2012 collection surpassing all expectations and selling out faster than any other. During two weeks in April, the Social Primer collection landed in the TOP 10 worldwide for BB sales, selling 800 and 500 ties in consecutive weeks. The Social Primer for Brooks Brothers Tailgate Blazer -- offered for the first time in the Fall of 2011 -- was an instant best seller in spite of a very late delivery at the end of the season. Arriving in mid-November, a time when Fall merchandise is going on sale, the SP Tailgate blazer posted an unheard of 55% sell through in 3 weeks.
LOYAL FOLLOWING: The reason for such incredible retail success? First and foremost the color and fabric combinations are unique, interesting takes on a classic. Also, Cooper Ray is a respected authority on men's classic style and supports the sale of merchandise on his high-traffic blog www.socialprimer.com and through all social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter & Instagram). His followers appreciate his honest and forthright advice and purchase his products with confidence. Social Primer merchandise is a magazine and blog favorite appearing in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, UrbanDaddy, GetKempt, GiltGroup, Park&Bond, TotalFratMove to name a very few of the hundreds of blogs who have written about Social Primer & K. Cooper Ray.
BIOGRAPHY: K. Cooper Ray is the former Global Vice President of PR & Events for Bottega Veneta and Ambassador of Dom Perignon. Born in Montgomery, Alabama, Cooper has lived in New York City, Milan, Cape Cod, Los Angeles and now Charleston. He is a sailor (2006 Regatta champion), author (Bill of Rites for the American Man and upcoming Last Night at Moomba), Tavern & Music Hall proprietor (Eighth & Rail) and was recently chosen one of Angeleno Magazines’ Top Ten Men of Style in Los Angeles and Charleston Magazine's Most Stylish. The Fall 2012 collaboration with Brooks Brothers will be his 6th collection in 3 years with America’s oldest retailer.
Presenting a collection during New York Fashion Week can be expensive. The average for a full scale show runs upwards of $100,000. For this reason many first time or fledgling designers choose to have Presentations, which usually means models or mannequins dressed in the clothes standing around a room, away from the tents at Lincoln Center.
Here is our budget for this presentation:
Sample Production -
Ties (Brooks Brothers factory) bow ties & long ties 500.00
Blazers (Martin Greenfield Clothiers) 2000.00
Venue Rental 3000.00
Incidentals (shoes, accessories, decor) 2500.00
A presentation during NYFW is considered essential to show your collection to the fashion press and important buyers. Like any trade show, the industry players are gathered in one place during this week and go from show to show judging each designer against the other. A presentation allows a designer to showcase his or her vision. Anyone can make a tie or a blazer, but it is the vision and lifestyle you want to convey during a presentation. In the end, press coverage puts your vision before the industry, the retailers and the consumer at a fraction of the cost it would cost to run a full page ad in a fashion magazine. A free editorial -- in GQ for instance -- is worth whatever they would normally charge an advertiser for that page, usually around $50,000. Add up all the editorials and blog coverage a presentation receives and the value can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars. In the end, 25,000 for a presentation seems like a bargain, relatively speaking.
Well, thanks for asking. I like to remind people that my last name is Ray, not Rockefeller. I do know a few Rockefellers, actually, but I do not live anywhere near their financial bracket neighborhood. This is the source of the misperception I suppose. Yes, I do know a lot or rich people. And yes, I do attend fancy parties, get invited to unbelievable houses for the weekends and am very lucky to live the life I live. But let’s not confuse proximity to rich folks for actual richness.
I have said many times as well as in the Introduction to my book Bill of Rites for the American Man, one does not have to be rich to live the good life. I am living proof of that mantra and this is the goal of socialprimer.com. The opening illustration is a caricature of me holding the door open to a fancy party, i.e. The Good Life. If one will only listen to my stories, act like you should, dress appropriately, then one can easily be accepted into the life.
Why don’t you hit up these rich friends for cash? I’ve never been one to ask for money. It is the most uncomfortable thing in the world. Even launching this Kickstarter campaign was an agonizing process. I will let you know that there are interested parties waiting in the wings. My strategy is to raise this $25,000 for the presentation and then seek investment for the production of the collection. Also, as advisers tell me, this allows me to keep more equity in the eventual company. I don’t want to do all this work and then give away the milk before we even get started.
What about your own money? Are you investing in yourself? Well, yes. I am investing my own money but as anyone who has ever started their own small business knows, it takes capital to get a business going. Kickstarter is an amazing way to harness the power of the Internet and help build Social Primer into something I have only dreamed of...it's own label of carefully curated and designed pieces for the new American gentleman. And it all begins right here with this collection of ties and blazers.
And finally, I like the idea of a populist groundswell of support from our brotherhood before we approach the fat cats. Maybe this is idealistic and naïve, but it just feels more SP to do it this way.
pledged of $25,000 goal
seconds to go
Jul 24, 2012 - Sep 6, 2012
Pledge $25 or more
FRIEND: For $25.00 you join in the adventure of this crazy ride to New York Fashion Week. Share with your friends! Help us reach our goal. Glad to you have you on board.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $50 or more
FAMILY: For $50.00 you join in the adventure of this crazy ride to New York Fashion Week and get the special edition SP T-shirt featured in the presentation to show your spirit. Share with your friends! Help us reach our goal. Glad to you have you on board.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $100 or more
PLEDGE: For $100.00 you join the Social Primer Fraternity as an entry level supporter and will receive a first edition Social Primer by K. Cooper Ray bow tie or long tie of your choice. Your name will be listed in the program, should you choose.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
BROTHER: For $1000 you join the Social Primer Fraternity as a key member of the tribe and receive a first edition Social Primer by K. Cooper Ray blazer and tie of your choice. Invited to presentation. Your name will be listed in the program, should you choose.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
FOUNDER: For $5000 you join the Social Primer Fraternity as an integral member of the tribe and receive a first edition Social Primer by K. Cooper Ray blazer and tie of your choice with options for future opportunities. Invited to presentation and your name will be listed in the program, should you choose.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012