Kate Spade New York is continuing its joyful, colorful ethos with its new spring campaign.
The fashion brand is releasing its spring 2024 campaign, titled “Time to Spring,” on Wednesday featuring Oscar-nominated “Everything Everywhere All at Once” actress Stephanie Hsu. The campaign is meant to evoke the joy around the first days of spring and highlights the brand’s recently launched Dakota handbag collection.
“Having lived in New York for 11 years, there’s no one in the world who gets more excited about spring than me,” Hsu said during a Zoom call. “I was the person where in February or March when there’s just a tiny little green sprig that comes out of the ground after a snowstorm, I’m texting all my friends, I’m telling the people, I’m telling the man at the bodega that spring is around the corner.”
On casting Hsu, who has been a friend of the brand for a few seasons, Kate Spade’s chief executive officer Liz Fraser stated the actress was a natural fit for the campaign.
“We just admired her spirit,” Fraser said. “She feels super Kate. She’s joyful, she’s energetic, she has a sense of humor and she has a great sense of style. She’s an amazing actress both in film and in theater, but what’s so special about her is that she has this comedic element to what she does. She has a physicality, which I think is perfect for the campaign. And we’re just trying to deliver that punchy feeling of enthusiasm for spring and she does it perfectly.”
Hsu explained she was drawn to Kate Spade New York because of the brand’s emphasis on florals and color, which are both staples in her own style. She named the brand’s Flora Patent Leather 3D Flower bag and a silk scarf printed with hot sauce bottles as her favorite pieces.
“I’m in my, I call it my babushka phase, but you could also call it my Billie Eilish phase,” Hsu said about her current style. “I’ve been scarfing for a long time, but I’ve really entered a full babushka era. I’m really excited to be a grandma in my hot sauce silk scarf.”
In the campaign, Hsu models a new style of Kate Spade New York’s Dakota handbag, which is a recently launched handbag pillar. Fraser explained the collection has already become a favorite of customers.
“The Dakota has done exactly what we wanted,” she stated. “It’s brought in a new, young and more diverse customer. A customer who loves us for these pops of color. [The spring 2024 collection] is the launch of the new Dakota hardware, so we’re very excited about the reception that it’s gotten with the targeted customer. Over the spring/summer season we will be building out the collection, so that it’s much more comprehensive.”
Fraser also stated the campaign has a multipronged approach by appearing on multiple platforms. This includes having a larger presence in digital out-of-home marketing and on streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+. The brand is also furthering its efforts with influencer partnerships on TikTok and YouTube, and looking at editorial partners.
One of the first initiatives in this strategy is an activation in partnership with Nylon, called Nylon Nights, taking place on Thursday night in New York City. Kate Spade New York is hosting the event and creating a real-life, immersive version of the spring campaign.
“The customers are there,” Fraser said about the campaign’s strategy. “We all live a very complex life and so brands have to intersect with the customers where they are — whether it’s in real life or it’s digital — and finding new immersive ways to do it and tell your story. It’s super important and we’ve already seen that it’s very successful. We just really want to build on it.”
Aside from the spring campaign, Kate Spade New York has a lengthy list of other initiatives taking place during the first quarter. The brand is continuing its work with actress Taraji P. Henson by teaming on a collaboration and hosting an event with her for International Women’s Day. Kate Spade New York is also bringing back its archival Noel print, which was originally created by the late designer and her husband Andy Spade in 1999.
On the social impact side, the brand has multiple activations planned including a partnership with the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, continuing its She Care Wellness Pods at historically Black colleges and universities and moderating a panel on taking a break from social media.