The Case of Ancient Greek Sandals

Ethnic Heritage and Celebrity Endorsement

Elena Chatzopoulou

Business Case
Source: Bloomsbury Fashion Business Cases
DOI: 10.5040/9781474208765.0004
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Abstract

Over the last decade young fashion designers from Greece, with limited resources and their country in financial crisis, managed to build brands internationally. Athens-based start-up Ancient Greek Sandals (AGS) was founded in 2010 and, by 2013, had become globally known and endorsed by international celebrities such as Beyoncé and Sarah Jessica Parker. Initially the founders had professional knowledge about designing and producing sandals but were not aware of marketing or communications strategies. They hired a PR company and gained customers by promoting their products’ ethnic authenticity, quality, and by celebrity endorsements on social media. This case provides evidence that ethnic identity and authenticity rely on the quality of raw materials, using the ethnic origin of the brand as an inspiration and showing respect for traditions and culture. These factors made it possible for the brand to position its products as high-quality with a historical background. Following the PR company’s suggestions the brand was successfully communicated through celebrity endorsements on social media and traditional media, such as fashion editorials in magazines. In both media types the brand was positioned as being authentic with a high-end aesthetic and a clear, ethnic identity.


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