Frida Kahlo’s vibrant legacy has been widely embraced in the recent collaborations’ scene by lifestyle brands willing to add a twist of female self-expression to the product mix. On the occasion of the artist’s birth anniversary on 6th July, we are honored to celebrate Frida’s passion for life with this conversation between Beatriz Alvarado, International Affairs Manager at Frida Kahlo Corporation, and Hedvig Jagasics v. Csonka, owner of Sugarbird, a Hungarian fashion retailer that, supported by Eureka Licensing Agency, recently launched a one of a kind collection named “Sugarbird loves Frida Kahlo.”
Brand Jam: Camaieu, Vans, Kidrobot, Calzedonia are among the many recent brand partners launching Frida Kahlo’s special collections in the last months. Why this sudden interest from lifestyle brands and retailers to celebrate Frida Kahlo’s legacy?
Beatriz Alvarado: My answer is honest and straightforward, as Frida was: Because of her strength and vision to inspire to overcome everything without distinction; including overcoming adversity, fighting day in and day out, transcending and achieving our dreams, and above all to be happy. Having Frida as a reference gives hope and the certainty to overcome our fears, anxiety, and indecisiveness no matter how overwhelming they may be.
I believe no one doubts that Frida was authentic and genuine. She chose her beauty and created her look. She adorned her head with flowers, used striking dresses, and painted her lips red. More than Frida’s passion, I believe that it was her stubbornness and willingness to break social norms that draws people to her and makes her today more relevant than ever before.
B.J.: Aside from fashion and apparel, what are the product categories you primarily look for to spread Frida Kahlo aesthetics?
B.A.: Because Frida inspires and touches many people from all walks of life, we are open to sharing her influence on the world thru all types of products and categories, from fashion to art and culture to lifestyle, to re-invent ourselves, to love, and to live life to the fullest and to find our genuine passion for life. Frida’s creative licensing program is open to all tiers of products representing her as the role model and iconic figure she is.
B.J.: In fact, Frida Kahlo is an assertive icon that in licensed collaborations ecosystem, it is probably quite tempting to keep the product development to a first mainstream level, using her portrait, or her signature, or one of her quotes, instead of leveraging on her actual art. Is this just our impression?
B.A.: Frida Kahlo was a Woman, a Daughter, a Sister, a Wife, a Friend, and a Lover. She was an Artist who painted flowers and who today is the muse that inspires the Sugarbird collections. Frida gives meaning to all of us who have something of hers in our lives regardless of time and space. Sugarbird collection celebrates the style that Frida loved so dearly, with a sensibility that comforts and gives hope, with colors that express passion, love, pain, shades, forms, and elements impossible not to admire. Frida’s perspective is genuine and authentic, with an unapologetic twist to conquer the world.
B.J.: A question to Hedvig Jagasics v. Csonka: what was the idea behind the “Sugarbird loves Frida Kahlo collection”?
H.J.: Self-expression of Frida Kahlo , the colour scheme, the temperament of Frida are all inspired us to build a limited edition collections for Frida which not only give confidence but also express charming , romantic , passionate and a kind of will to live attitude. Fashion is an extraordinary opportunity to express such feelings, for this reason we used with love her flowers, extreme style and colours of dresses, special bird motives designed for European fashion world
B.J.: You are a power-user of the licensed franchisee for your special editions, and it seems your quest is to find a synthesis between your and the franchise’s aesthetic. Is it so?
H.J.: It is absolutely right, since as a fashion house our goal is not “just” use the proposed franchise decorations but rather add our own style on the special way that the final designs are trendy and put into our “Sugarbird” world. We had to build Frida art and lifestyle into our brand identity.
B.J.: “Sugarbird loves Frida Kahlo” has been an articulated and well-communicated activation. What have been its key points, and what has been appreciated by your clients?
H.J.: We built an exciting campaign for the introduction of the first Frida Collection. First, we made a research by a billboard teasing campaign where we used an eyebrow only with a “coming soon” title, then, as a next step we made up a winning content. The consumers were very excited when we started to unveil our collection thereby, we had a chance to educate buyers who may never met with Frida art. We also developed a special campaign with local female celebrities -local women, local teenagers or Tv stars, singers where the women shared with us their feelings about Frida Kahlo lifestyle and her special mood. We have partnered with 16 years old to 65 years old women, transgender, mixing well known with totally unknown persons. Our goal was to show everyone can be Frida even for one photo shooting. The Sugarbird fashion house has a very strong brand image with massive regular consumer base for this reason our own brand is already a guarantee for the success for the licensed brands we use. Our consumers are now excited about our newest choice on who will be THE Face of the brand.
Our Collections are sold mainly online – including Frida Kahlo collection at www.sugarbird.com