Marketing Plays: Grailed Makes Its In-App Experience Even More Personal With Social Media-Inspired ‘Feed’ Feature + More News

See all the season’s biggest marketing moves, from ad campaigns and digital initiatives to major ambassador partnerships. Got some news to share? Send it to

Oct. 18, 2021: Grailed revealed “Feed” today, the marketplace’s new social media-inspired feature that allows its users to curate listings based on their personal interests and style preferences. With this new feature, Grailed said users can customize their in-app feed by following designers, sellers, searches and collections they have interest in “to ensure they never miss the chance to capture their next wardrobe staple.” What’s more, Grailed said “Feed” also gives its members the opportunity to grow their following and attract new buyers with new listings going directly into the feeds of their followers in real-time.

Oct. 11, 2021: DTLR announced that it has partnered with eight HBCUs for its annual HBCU Homecoming Tour, which will bring its Cultural Music Festival and its Esports Tournament to their campuses this fall.

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The Cultural Music Festival will feature recording artists HD4President, Lightskin Keisha, T-Shyne, OMB Peezy and others at the homecoming events, and DTLR Radio X Puma will host meet and greets following each performance. As for the Esports Tournament, DTLR has partnered with The Yard HBCU Esports Alliance to host an esports experience at each school. The experience will include bringing the DTLR Esports gaming truck to each event, as well as tournament-style play of NBA 2K 2022 and Madden 2022 on Xbox or Playstation. DTLR said winners from each college will receive and invitation to participate in the HBCU Esports Homecoming Classic, which will take place in the spring in Washington, D.C.

For this HBCU Homecoming Tour, the retailer will make stops at Norfolk State University on Oct. 11, Morehouse College on Oct. 13, Coppin State University on Oct. 20, Elizabeth City State University on Oct. 22, Tennessee State University on Oct. 27, Florida A & M University on Oct. 28, Prairie View A&M University on Nov. 2 and North Carolina Central University on Nov. 5. 

DTLR said it will also give away custom DTLR/HBCU-branded shirts, custom masks and hand sanitizers. In addition to the music, esports and giveaways, the retailer’s human resources team will be present at select events, starting with Coppin State University on Oct. 20, to speak with students about career opportunities.

Oct. 6, 2021: Canada Goose previewed the campaign for its debut footwear range today, an effort it described as “a testament to the brand staying true to sharing real stories about real people.” Stars of the campaign include athlete Romeo Beckham, Indigenous artist and activist Sarain Fox and Indigenous leader and former NHL player Jordin Tootoo. The effort, according to Canada Goose, celebrates what makes the aforementioned people “a force of nature” and invites others to express themselves freely without judgement, exploring and defining their path forward. It was shot in Canada, specifically Squamish and Whistler in British Columbia, to tell the stories of Beckham, Fox and Tootoo in settings that the company said complements their journeys. Also, Canada Goose explained the campaign was created to show how their “ability to be one with nature” shows that the performance of its footwear “enables them to focus on the task at hand and reach their metaphorical summit.”

Sarain Fox, shot for Canada Goose.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Canada Goose

Sept. 27, 2021: Carhartt announced it has become a supporting partner of the National Park Foundation’s Communities and Workforce initiative, and will give $750,000 to the foundation over the next three years. The funds, according to Carhartt, will be used to support service corps, local community and workforce development organizations, which will provide training for members that will allow them to develop leadership skills, build teamwork and learn about public lands career paths.

Sept. 22, 2021: On has signed a multiyear agreement to become the official footwear sponsor of the Laver Cup. The deal, according a statement, will have on-court and on-site staff wearing On footwear. This year’s Laver Cup will take place at TD Garden in Boston from Sept. 24-26.

“Whether working behind-the-scenes or on-court, the Laver Cup organizing team will find On’s athletic footwear supports them to run this extraordinary event in style and in comfort,” On co-founder Casper Coppetti said in a statement.

Additionally, the limited-edition On Roger Advantage Laver Cup shoe is available now via, and will also be sold at TD Garden during the Laver Cup.

On Roger Advantage Laver Cup.
CREDIT: Courtesy of On

Sept. 20, 2021: Kurt Geiger has launched its new Autumn ’21 campaign, “Together, We Move,” in partnership with GUAP. The ads celebrate themes of friendship, love and community, showing a group of diverse youth exploring the city of London — which GUAP directed, photographed and produced. The British youth-led media platform, which showcases the work of underrepresented talents, holds similar values as Geiger — making their partnership a perfect fit. Geiger’s expressive lineup this season includes quilted boots, slippers and loafers, as well as bold heels and a range of its signature Kensington handbags.

Sept. 16, 2021: Keen has launched Keen Corps, the outdoor footwear company’s loyalty rewards program that gives people the ability to earn points for volunteering, donating to grassroots organizations and shopping. Inspired by what the brand is calling a “global desire to change,” Keen is encouraging people to act via rewards that include exclusive branded products, events and special shopping access. To keep track of each person’s efforts, there will be both individual and collective dashboards, which Keen said will also reveal “the full effect of the program.” There will be three tiers of achievement and rewards — Keen, Keener and Keenest — starting with the first-tier level Keen, which includes a welcome package with $10 off their first purchase, notifications of monthly volunteer events in their area, survey participation invites.

The company is launching the program with the Keen Trail Clean-Up Challenge this month, which is being done with the help of seven regional partners stateside. According to Keen, for every hour spent volunteering, members will receive 25 Keen Corps points, also giving the group a nomination to win a Keen Effect grant. (Keen said it will give away $75,000 in grant funds, and the organizations with the most volunteer hours get the most funds.)

Sept. 15, 2021: Columbia Sportswear has signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with USA Curling. With the sponsorship, Columbia said via statement that it will work closely with the USA Curling National Team Program, which includes the men’s, women’s, junior and wheelchair national teams. Also, the brand will debut new competitive kits on “Curling Night in America,” which will begin airing on NBC Sports on Sept. 19. With the sponsorship, Columbia said it will promote its product lines and performance technologies, and the team of more than 50 world-class USA Curling athletes and coaches will wear its designs both training and participating in competitions, including the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Beijing.

USA Curling members Tara Peterson (L) and Nina Roth in Columbia.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Columbia

September 2, 2021: Red Wing Shoes is highlighting tradeswomen and female workers in a marketing campaign called “Thank you, Tradeswomen,” running from Sept. 2 through Sept. 8. In addition to transforming its website and digital channels to feature stories of different women, Red Wing Shoes is also promoting the campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and via email. The work boots company will also feature a “Hero Table” at all retail locations with women’s boots to highlight the Thank you, Tradeswomen campaign.

Red Wing Shoes is promoting the work of tradeswomen.
CREDIT: Red Wing Shoes

August 30, 2021: Model Chanel Iman stars in New York & Company’s first major campaign, featuring the label’s new footwear collection. For fall ’20, New York & Company launched its most expansive collection to date, including its first in-house footwear collection. The offering includes flats, mules, pumps, booties, boots and more, made with premium fabrics in solids and prints, such as houndstooth, snake print and leopard. Iman can be seen in the ads wearing the new shoe line, which ranges in price from $40 to $120.

New York & Company’s new footwear line inlcludes half sizes for the first time.
CREDIT: Courtesy of New York & Company

August 25, 2021: To celebrate the release of Coach‘s Rogue handbag for fall ’21, the brand tapped ambassadors Jennifer Lopez, Kate Moss, Kōki, Ma Zhe, Lu and Xiao Wen Ju to star in the campaign. This is a reintroduction of the handbag, which was first seen on the runway in 2016. This time around, the Rogue was designed in organic and recycled materials and embroidered with fall’s menagerie of creatures and Coach’s signature jacquard.

Kate Moss in Coach’s fall ’21 Rogue handbag campaign.
CREDIT: © 2021 Juergen Teller

July 26, 2021: Dick’s Sporting Goods has unveiled a new advertising spot that turns the “Miss America” concept on its head. The new campaign, titled “There She Is,” features the pageant’s classic song performed by Bert Parks, playing over images of inspiring female athletes displaying courage and strength in their respective sports. The video was created by New York-based ad agency Anomaly and stars a mix of athletes from Olympic and team sports, including Aubree Munro, catcher for the USA Softball Olympic team, and former Track & Field Paralympian April Holmes. The campaign launched July 25 on NBC during the Tokyo Games and will run throughout August on major networks. It also will appear on Dick’s social media channels, as well as in-store and online.

July 21, 2021: After signing retired NFL quarterback Alex Smith as a brand partner in June, recovery footwear brand Oofos has unveiled its first campaign featuring the football star, as well as two other influential figures: choreographer Chloe Arnold of “The Late Late Show with James Corden” and pediatric teacher Lisa Black of UVA Children’s Hospital. The “mOOvers” campaign is meant to highlight people “who don’t stop, can’t stop mOOving — both for themselves and others.” As part of the video series, each person will share their story of triumph and resilience, and give back to the community. For Smith, he’s supporting the Center for the Intrepid, the facility where he did his rehab alongside wounded veterans, after suffering a gruesome leg injury on the field in 2018. The campaign is appearing on and on the brand’s social channels, where customers are invited to share their own stories of overcoming adversity, for a chance to appear in the ads.

Alex Smith and his family star in a new ad campaign for Oofos.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Oofos

July 14, 2021: Skechers has teamed up with one of TikTok’s biggest stars. The footwear brand has joined forces with Avani Gregg on a new creative campaign for the Skechers Uno. In the ad, Gregg proves that too much color is never a bad thing as she poses in the shoes, which are available in hot pink, blue and red as well as white black, sand and olive in coordinating vibrant ensembles, including tutus, checked blazers and mini dresses. The Avani x Skechers styles are available at and retail for $80.

Avani x Skechers.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Skechers

July 6, 2021: Malone Souliers fall ’21 campaign is set in the clouds.To celebrate the new collection, the brand launched a campaign called “Big Skies.” Creative director Mary Alice Malone looked to nature for inspiration for the line, which includes earthy tones in the form of sandals, heels and combat boots seen in different textures from herringbone tweeds and mesh to houndstooth and camouflage.

“I designed this collection from home, and felt inspired by the transitional season and the ever changing landscape around me. The trees, flowers and the late summer light brightened up our farm in colours in ways I’ve never seen or noticed before,” Malone said. “I was feeling incredibly at ease in this natural, familiar environment and I think that’s reflected in the collection. I wanted to create something that feels relevant to the current world, something our customers can relate to but feel special in.”

Malone Souliers fall ’21 womens line features shoes inspired by the outdoors.

For men’s, Malone Souliers offers loafers and boots silhouettes designed in pine, cognac and sand leathers. Standout styles for fall ’21 includes the Bryce, which is a lace-up military boot in calf leather and the classic Luca loafer.

July 2, 2021: Yara Shahidi is making her mark in fashion. Today, she has been announced as the new face of Dior. According to the company, the 21-year-old will serve as a global ambassador for women’s fashion and cosmetics. Shahidi joins Dior’s roster of ambassadors that also include Travis Scott, who recently teamed up with Kim Jones for a collaboration, singer Jisoo, and model Cara Delevingne.

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