Ecko Redefines the American Dream

NEW YORK Hip-hop fashion brand Ecko Unlimited has launched a print campaign incorporating celebrities like Hugh Hefner, DJ Mix Master Mike of the Beastie Boys and Fat Joe.

The “Dreamnasium II” series was designed to target and challenge the pop culture values that have seeped into the American dream. In one ad, R&B artist Res papers over the image of a wane, white model with her own image—a young, healthy black woman dressed in Ecko’s spring collection. In another, a variety of artists pose serenely above a cavalcade of miniature picketers dressed in black suits. The picketers carry signs that state, “Money” and “Power.” Ecko model and rap artist Talib Kweli leans on a “Respect” sign.

“As a company that was born from a dream and nurtured in the spirit of creativity and rebellion, Ecko Unlimited celebrates the core values of the American dream while critiquing the conventional methods of attaining it,” said designer Marc Ecko.

The campaign, which includes at least four ads created by the client’s in-house team, will appear in more than 20 magazine titles including Vibe, The Source, Blender, Teen People, YM, Paper and Playboy. The work broke in February issues and will run through July.

The budget was undisclosed, but the company spent about $5 million on ads last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

New York-based Ecko, which uses a rhino as its brand icon, is sold in boutiques and at department stores including Macy’s, Foley’s and Burdine’s.