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In Conversation with David Boyne of Bravado

Bravado are Universal Music Group’s merchandise and brand management company, and have joint curated RS No. 9 Carnaby with The Rolling Stones which recently opened in London. Bravado lives at the crossroads of music and fashion. They understand the power of smart merchandising, and they know how to create products that spark organic, emotional connections between fans and artists. Their world class capabilities have made them the leading provider of consumer, lifestyle and brand management services around the world. With teams in 40 countries, they create a tailored approach for every project — from creating new spaces in the market to bringing an artist’s creative vision to life. Bravado is about building brands and legacies that live on, beyond the music.

In episode 94 of the MenswearStyle Podcast we interviewed Bravado Managing Director David Boyne about his 25-year experience working within the fashion industry. His recent big project was with The Rolling Stones for the new RS No. 9 Carnaby store located on London's historic Carnaby Street. Our host Peter Brooker and David also chatted about how Covid-19 affected the store launch, the huge press coverage received, how the 'tongue logo' became so iconic, and the inspiration behind the store displays, art, music and experiences.

“I've spent 25 years working within fashion and then 10 years ago Bravado came calling. I thought a move to the fusion of music and fashion would be really interesting. Bravado are owned by Universal Music, which is the biggest music company in the world. We are in the merchandise arm and we have an incredible roster of artists. We work with The Rolling Stones Queen, Elton John, Guns N' Roses, Tupac and more. There are some amazing iconic artists, but some brilliant contemporary artists such as Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish, who have been incredible for us. We work with those artists and we look after their merchandise rights. Our business began by selling product at live events, although obviously that's pretty quiet at the moment due to Covid-19. We also sell into retail such as Selfridges and Primark, and we also work with brands like Happy Socks and Dr. Martens to bring together artist and brand collaborations. Finally, we look after about 70 web stores for our artists, selling directly to their fan base."

"We recently opened up a store on Carnaby Street for The Rolling Stones. The store is experiential because we wanted the fan to really engage. There's an incredible visual impact once you step inside. We've got oversized media screens at the back of the store, and we work with a company called Treatment Studio who do all the footage for the Stones’ live shows. We got them to put together an amazing video of 30 minutes of content showing the band throughout the years. There's some great animated graphics, but more importantly, just great footage of the band both playing live and various different documentaries. One of the other elements that is really important is the music itself. We work with the premium British speaker brand, Bowers & Wilkin, and they've supplied all the equipment for the store. It's really important that when we're playing the Stones’ music, the quality is the best possible. And then, when you go downstairs there's a mirror room and a sound room with some amazing neon signs. These various elements of discovery gives an opportunity for experience.”

This is a shortened transcribed edit of episode 94 of the MenswearStyle Podcast with David Boyne, Managing Director at bravado.com. You can listen to the full version below or listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast player.

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