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Since 1899, Hickey Freeman has been crafting high-quality tailored men’s clothing in their New York factory located in downtown Rochester. Founders Jacob Freeman and Jeremiah Hickey had a vision of building a brand that would define American tailoring. A Hickey Freeman suit became a testament to the artistry of hand-craftsmanship and the steady consistency of American innovation. Under new ownership, Hickey Freeman chose Toth+Co to relaunch the brand with a modern sensibility to compete with the Italian brands that had taken over the tailored suit market and lay claim to its American roots.
A rich and deep research initiative across internal, consumer and trade constituents helped inspire a new brand identity and marketing platform which would result in one modern, omnichannel presence for the brand. Efforts included a brand book, refreshed visual identity system, retail signage, product branding and ticketing, website design and finally a campaign to bring awareness to HF’s new look.
Our goal was to make a bold impact. A key element in the work is the introduction of “Tailor’s Gold”, a nod to the traditional tailor’s measuring tape as a signature identifier for the brand – a solution for much needed reboot to the brand’s presence at retail and online. The existing logotype was refined and infused with the brand’s rich history by introducing New York and Since 1899 to the lockup. A custom HF monogram was also designed for use in smaller spaces, and brought back the original Hickey Freeman crest for authenticity. The launch campaign, shot by Yu Tsai, featured all-American good-looker Just Joslin and was shot in iconic locations in New York City.
As a result of the rebranding effort, Hickey Freeman: - Gained extensive trade coverage around the brand re-launch, including features in WWD - Expanded distribution/retail presence at key accounts (Bergdorf Goodman, Nordstrom, Saks) - Opened new premium distribution (Barney's) - Generated significant sales and traffic increases (undisclosed)