John Crocco Does it Again – His Winning Formula for Perry Ellis

16 Aug

Text, Vivian Kelly

Once, not so long ago, I had mentally lumped the men’s brands who showed at New York Fashion Week into two broad categories: “fashion” [makes my blood boil] and “clothes” [dullsville].

In the “fashion” camp were: Duckie Brown, Siki Im.

In the “just clothes” camp: Nautica, Perry Ellis.

I’m going to remove Perry Ellis from this category and for now, place it in the in-between one along with John Varvatos – a definite step up, style-wise.

A week or so ago LaForce & Stevens sent me an email highlighting the latest Perry Ellis Campaign. At first glance, not a lot of color, nothing revolutionary, but I rather liked it and decided to share it with friend, Mark Behnke, the Men’s Editor of Fashion Tribes.

Mark, bless him, always has an opinion and knows his men’s fashion.

In response to my query [“Sooo, what do you think?]”, he replied,

“I really like the way John Crocco is working in small ways to make Perry Ellis a line for the stylish cool dude in his late Twenties to Early Thirties. The designs each season get a little more forward without going over a line that a Perry Ellis wearer wouldn’t cross. By having some identifiable faces as reps of Perry Ellis is another step in that direction.”

I like the company’s M.O. – small steps, but always in the same direction, just like the turtle in the French Fable, ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. In this instance, the small step was to use three models rather than just as one, as they’d done for years. Add to that that the trio – Arthur Kulkov, Thiago Santos and Parker Gregory do actually “mark a shift in the direction and composition of Perry Ellis advertising.” Let’s just say that not every guy who sh0ps Perry is a WASP and it’s great that the company acknowledges the American male shopper’s changing demographic in such a public way. Thumbs up to John Crocco and Charles DeCaro, Creative Director of Laspata DeCaro, who directed the shoot [see video, below].

Click here to watch their behind the scenes video.


If John Crocco continues like this, he may well win the race to carve out a bigger piece of the pie of the men’s market. For now, I’m looking forward to seeing what Mr. Crocco unveils at the upcoming NYFW show.


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