Back to the Old School with ellesse heritage and the Haçienda

To mark 30 years since Manchester’s iconic nightclub the Haçienda first opened its doors, sportswear brand ellesse and FAC51/The Haçienda have come together to create a series of limited edition polo shirts. The three shirts will feature design elements and original materials from the building including buttons made from the dancefloor tread plate trod on by over 3 million revellers.

We were asked to create a collaboration positioning presenter for retail that included garment branding, swing tags, retail branding, point of sale and promotional activity strategy to help market the range to the country’s top department stores. It would also carry a short introduction to about how the Haçienda inspired a generation, defined an era and put Manchester on the map as well.

We didn’t have to look far to find good quotes and anecdotes for this part. As a music venue, the Haçienda was almost too good to be true, playing host to now-legendary bands New Order, The Happy Mondays, The Smiths and pioneering DJs Mike Pickering, Sasha and Graeme Park. As a sustainable business model, however, it was too chaotic to last, leading co-founder Tony Wilson to utter the infamous line: “We made history, not money.” What has accrued over the years, though, is the strength of the brand identity.

Visionary, controversial and unforgettable by association, FAC51/The Haçienda has become one of the most powerful and meaningful brands to come out of Manchester – if not the UK – in years. Needless to say, the prospect of working with it was as exhilarating as it was daunting.

We impressed current brand guardian, and former New Order bassist, Peter Hook when he came to Photolink to discuss and approve the creative direction of the presenter, however, and were buoyed by his overall enthusiasm for the project.

Take a look at how the final document came together on our ‘Work’ page here. We’ll post another update when the shirts hit the shops.

Imogen Gee

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