Wednesday, February 1, 2012
5 Minutes with Tony King
Tony King began his career in fashion online as Gucci Group’s eBusiness Design Director. 2004 marked the year that he established CREATETHE GROUP to transform the face of luxury online. As the former chief creative officer and founder, Tony led the conceptualization and development of digital solutions in his New York, Milan, and London offices. Under his exacting standards and distinctly unique creative direction, Tony has been a leader in design solutions for over a decade. Dissatisfied with big agency mentality, Tony founded a new kind of agency with King & Partners in 2010.
Q1. What was the first record that you owned that really had a life changing effect on you?
TK - don't take this the wrong way but it was Sex Machine by James Brown. In 1987 I was 15 and started going to club that played funk and soul music, the music of James Brown really stood out. I remember buying the 7 inch vinyl of the that record.
Q2. You have a 'blue chip' client list that includes Kenzo, Thakoon, Bottega Venata, Jack Spade and Reiss. Why is fashion your chosen area of expertise and how adaptable is the industry to online marketing and e-commerce?
TK - I was told early on that if you do something you love you'll never work a day in your life. I've always loved fashion, design, architecture etc and I like to apply what I'm good at to those markets, and what I'm good at it coming up with ideas for digital properties, whether it be digital marketing or commerce ideas.
Q3. Vice is positioning itself as the 'new MTV' with a huge amount of original online content with Tom Freston at the helm of their endeavor. Do you think that a fashion brand could position itself as 'the new MTV' and if so, who?
TK - I actually don't think one brand could do that. Fashion is only interesting when it's mixed up with lots of brands and inspirations.
Q4. What are the Top Five Tips you can give fashion clients in the world of e-commerce?
TK - 1. find the right agency, embrace them as your partner and trust them. 2. know best practices but don't be afraid to break them where applicable. 3. forget focus groups, go on your gut, use intuition. your customers wont know what they want until they see it or use it. 4. having said that don't ignore your site analytics, read the statistics and know how to act upon them. 5. take risks.
Q5. Who is your ultimate digital icon and why?
TK - Not original but it has to be Steve Jobs. He did everything based on his instinct.