(Continued from KCDC- A PEAK BEHIND THE DUNK DESIGN)
We finally did it, the dunk design was complete. Now what? Actually, the majority of the project was about to unfold.
Our launch for the KCDC Dunk was set for November of 2021, and we were beginning to plan how we would roll out marketing that would go with it. We wanted this launch to capture the shop in it’s entirety, not just another flash-in-the pan hype-drop. This was the chance for us to share who we are as a skate shop, which is inclusive, innovative, and Brooklyn.
As we were beginning to think of how else we could express ourselves, there was talk of a skate video and premiere. There were so many moving parts and schedules. At the time, we didn’t think we could make it happen in the short amount of time we had. We wanted to approach the launch in an artistic, unexpected, and cool way that made the shoe feel special. We also wanted to feature our team of employees, everyone was unique in their essence and brought something special to the shop. This was another chance to play on Amy and her many facets that make her who she is.
One thing we weren’t able to incorporate in the shoe was the idea of baking. Amy loves baking and used to bake cupcakes and cakes for events for the shop back when the parties were mass. We noticed with the pink of the shoe it matched the pink used in bakeries, it felt like another serendipitous element that fit.
We also wanted to have a launch party event, which is KCDC’s strong suit. We had initial ideas but we knew weren’t thinking big enough. Of course, only Amy could imagine something so awesome, thinking of iconic Brooklyn-centric locations. I remember being on text with Amy and Erik, and that’s when she said ‘we’re going to coney island.
As we considered this location and thought about how we wanted it to be the most impactful event, this was in early 2021 and covid was still prevalent. The winter leading up to the spring had different Covid variants circulating and mask mandates were still rampant. We didn’t want to risk having an event that would be detrimental, and we had already felt rushed trying to make merch and a video for our November date.
Amidst all the craziness of trying to get everything done, Amy had a clear feeling- we should wait. I didn’t think it was possible, but once we spoke with Nike, they needed time to convene to look at their timeline. Sure enough, that worked for them and so our date moved to the earliest Coney Island would open, the last weekend of April.
Now with more allotted time, we focused on the marketing video, with much deliberation and references, we narrowed down the story line that we would be working in a bakery, on a special something, kinda like how we were working on the dunk. The team would be delivering a secret cake to surprise Amy at a later party that the staff had made, and the delivery team was our skate team. And since KCDC was turning 20, it felt appropriate to celebrate that as a birthday cake for the age of the shop.
The ideas started flowing, it was easy to play off this cake narrative. We would make skate wax in the shape of birthday candles, cake servers made with our logo, and we had aprons made with logos and name tags.
It was a two day filming process, we had a whole camera team with the professional equipment. All of us employees hadn’t really done anything like this except Amy who was kind of our face coach, notes from her modeling days came in handy as the camera rolled. I remember the moment when the film crew started putting the giant heavy camera in a baking oven and then said Abi and I would pull it out as a POV shot of the cake. I was so nervous to be handling this EXTREMELY costly camera. The expressions we made were real as this thing was HEAV-Y.
The second day of shooting and a few half days after, we filmed members of the KCDC team and Friends and family skating and delivering the cake. This was my chance to sneak in some of the KCDC merch as an initial tease that it was coming in. It was so awesome to see everything come together, the merch paired up with the shoes and all our friends wearing it. This was the first taste of how everything looked together.
With the video complete and event working underway, we were getting close to our launch date! The last aspect was how we were going to launch on social. I knew we wanted to tease various elements before revealing the shoe officially. We had stills from the video in place and the press photos of the shoe, but none of these felt right as the initial statement of us working with Nike SB.
I had a gut feeling that we needed different imagery other than what we had. At this point, I had been working on for a year and a half already, I knew the first statement needed to be special. We needed the cake reference to kick it off. The week that we were planned to start posting, I ran out, bought a cake, and Amy called her long time friend Heidi of Friends From New York to photograph and help with this last minute photoshoot.
Heidi and I started taking various shots, on a pink backdrop, it didn’t feel special enough. I found satin fabric and a discoball from KCDC parties past. We turned off the lights and bounced light off the disco ball. It was perfect. The photos were edited that day and posted the next. Once I posted, I couldn’t believe it, it was real. This was our moment, and it started now.