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Anybody Can Be a Creative Director, Except a Creative Director
By: Edwina Owens Elliott
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What in the Sam Hill is up with companies these days? Musician Alicia Keys is appointed global creative director for Blackberry? Fashion designer Marc Jacobs appointed as a creative director for Diet Coke? And last Thursday Anheuser Busch Bud Light Platinum announced their newly appointed creative director—

“Justin Timberlake is one of the greatest creative minds in the entertainment industry, and his insights will help us further define our identity in the lifestyle space."
Justin Timberlake? One of the greatest creative minds in the entertainment industry? It sounds like they need to take a giant step back from the Buds over there.
I get the whole name-recognition thing. Of course. But come on. What happened to product spokesperson? Or signing a simple endorsement deal? What qualifies Alicia, Marc, or Justin, talented enough in other arenas, to hold any title within a company not their own? Such a sad and silly attempt by a brand to remain viable. And how about the artists? Is this just some maniacal, ego-driven desire to rule the world? That’s pretty sad, too. How does a move like this play in the office? Does the music composer “on fi-yah” now sign off on all BlackBerry creative? As global creative director, it’s certainly what the title suggests. Hmmmm. That must do a lot for agency morale.
Not long ago, in a desperate attempt to resurrect the brand of late fashion designer Halston, Sarah Jessica Parker was appointed chief creative officer. Not only was she bought in to serve as the face of the label, she would design fashions as well. Now, SJP is a fashion icon, no doubt. Her years as Carrie Bradshaw on Sex and the City have cemented her name in the annals of 21st-century fashionistas forever. But while she may wear a garment well, what did she know about resurrecting a dead company? Or clothing construction? Manufacturing? Marketing? Apparently not much. Her role there lasted for about eighteen months until the actor and the fashion house parted ways. By then, they couldn’t give the company away.
While Marc Jacobs has proven himself to be a true creative visionary, putting together some of the most stunning fashion show extravaganzas on the catwalk today for both his own line as well as Louis Vuitton, he’s been forced to postpone the showing of his Fall Collection this week. And the Blizzard of 2013 didn’t have a dang thing to do with it. They’re missing bags, shoes, and even fabric. Real professional, huh?
A word to the wise, Marc — focus more on what you know. And less on dominating the world.

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About the Author

Edwina Owens Elliott is a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and owner of FASHION+ART, an e-commerce art gallery. She has a lifelong passion for fashion, art, writing, music, movies, books, theater, cooking, gardening, plotting and planning and dreaming big dreams. Find her online here and here.

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