Saks Fifth Avenue Marketing Campaign by Shepard Fairey and Cleon Peterson

Jeez, Shepard Fairey gets bigger and bigger everyday, better hold onto those prints! Saks Fifth Avenue has hired Mr. Fairey and Studio Number One employee Cleon Peterson to create this season’s marketing campaign for the upscale department store. They based the campaign on old propaganda imagery, and the store was just fine with that. Terron E. Schaefer, the senior vice president for marketing at Saks was quoted as saying, “What we do every day, really, is propaganda”. Pretty rad stuff, but this could definitely be seen as a major sellout move. Check out the article at

40 Responses to “Saks Fifth Avenue Marketing Campaign by Shepard Fairey and Cleon Peterson”

  1. thats hot

  2. Communism meets capitalism. I’m not sure this works in the same way Jonathan Barnbrook or Frank Kozik’s stuff of a similar nature does, simply because it’s corporate. Nice design, shame it was Fairey.

  3. i am not sure if there is much to sell out. i never saw shep as much underground. looks much better than most of his other stuff.

  4. Cash for Chaos, I think Shepard being in GQ and openly endorsing a figure head is more of a sell out move than this.

  5. looks like something i did for a design project back in school that was influenced by shep’s stuff. anorexic models arm probably needed to be propped up for the photo shoot.

  6. I’m sorry, but effin barf.

  7. Oh boy, Saks is going to feel silly when the find out they hired a high-price designer to copy exactly the aesthetic of Alexander Rodchenko. But then again, with the popularity of Shep these days, maybe hiring him comes with free advertising.

  8. What hasn’t mr. fairey done in the last year that hasn’t looked like a sellout move? Just stop posting this shit and stick with posters.

    Side note: that “want it” font is atrocious.

  9. I’m all for skinny chicks, but that model is to skinny, in fact she is scary thin. I mean when you can imagine what her skeleton looks like because you can practically see it, I’m thinking she needs a hamburger.

  10. she’s perfect, they just don’t make ’em like they used to.

  11. no bueno.

  12. Shepard Fairey has been running a design studio and doing selective commercial design work before his art career had any legs. This isn’t a sell out move.

    I’m sure most of the people on this board would be considered sell outs based on what they do to make a living.

  13. This is probably the most soul’d out he can get. Oddly enough, it looks like a parody of his own work.

  14. You guys all sound like such bitches…Shep has made more money than all of you combined doing what he loves. He is the biggest artist in the world right now. You call it selling out…i call it success

  15. Shep is no where near the biggest artist in the world, that’s just a ridiculous statement.

  16. “Shep has made more money than all of you combined doing what he loves”………That’s Just a ridiculos statement because…….. errr …. mmmmm……… well its just ridiculous OK !

  17. Wow now we are commenting on a model’s arm for pete’s sake. Just give it a rest. I seen good ole Frank on Good Day L.A. today about his adopt poster he did for dogs to adopt. Now that is a good cause to back up. Way to go Frank you are my idol and hero. I am trying to do good this year and be more giving and Frank has given back so much the past say 15 years. He is a true champion for the people and I don’t think he is a sell out no more.

    FYI When I met him at Borders in Pasadena a few years back he introduced himself to as Frank.

  18. The reason this is a sellout move, and totally different than just doing commerical design, is that Fairey is taking the audience and the influence he’s gained from the millions of Obama supporters who help spread the art he donated to the campaign, and now using the language and design of political activism to sell overpriced handbags. YES WE CAN (shop at Saks).

  19. Aside from the color scheme, this barely resembles Shepard Fairey’s work. It just looks like generic constructivist/agitprop…I like how impossibly long that woman’s arm is.

  20. depending on depth perception, part of that is shoulder

  21. Ugly

  22. does anyone else see a metal plate in her forearm?

  23. amazing….

  24. there is no such thing as “too thin”

    half my weight or the highway has always been my motto!

  25. it reads “Saks Fifth Avenue has hired Mr. Fairey and Studio Number One employee Cleon Peterson to create this season’s marketing campaign…”

    So its a collaborative effort with another person at his studio.
    Thats why it may have a feel of shep but there is something else there.

    I personally like the feel of it.

    I think the font works rather well for the imagery they are creating.

    Not a sell out move


  26. She looks like Mina Sovari. Atleast I thing thats her name, ya know the blonde chick from American Beauty?

    But whatever. To sell out or not to sell out. Anyone here, their, or anywhere, given the chance, would sell out in a heartbeat to make a living on doing what they love.

    I’m not saying that I love, or even like this project, but good for this guy. I wish I had the insight, and know-how, and connections this guy has. And if everyone of you people think long enough, you would wish that too.

  27. Is that a real model or photo-shop? Is he trying to make a statement about bulimia and anorexia? Or is it you have two choices; either shop at Saks or eat?

  28. i like it. the plate thing in her arm is weird looking. but i like the design.

  29. I have been a fan of Shep’s work for some time. I am posting the following in hopes of provoking some discussion. I am in no way attempting to comment on his commitment to the betterment of the many worthy causes he supports.

    “Saks received an “F” grade on the 2004 NAACP Economic Reciprocity Initiative report. The grade reflects a measurement of corporate America’s commitment to the African American citizenry and other people of color. Companies were surveyed for their activity in employment, vendor development and contracting, advertising and marketing, dealerships and philanthropy. Source: NAACP”

    “About the NAACP
    From the ballot box to the classroom, the dedicated workers, organizers, and leaders who forged this great organization and maintain its status as a champion of social justice, fought long and hard to ensure that the voices of African Americans would be heard. For nearly one hundred years, it has been the talent and tenacity of NAACP members that has saved lives and changed many negative aspects of American society.”

    “As most of you know, I’m a big believer in speaking up for all who suffer injustice, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or in this case, species!”
    ~ Shepard Fairey

  30. I guess shep is a Flypocrit hey. I’m heading to 5th ave and buying the cheapest thing and selling these bags on ebay! Thank god Shep just needs money waved in his face to do anything and that keeps him busy otherwise I wouldn’t be able to piggybag and sell on ebay.

  31. ShepFlipper it’s piggybACK :)

  32. Is that a live model? I really thought it was a mannequin. Something about the girl being plastic made it more interesting to me. That said, the bags look SO much like an graphic design history project from any art school. “Your theme is constructivism. Make modern objects. Go!” Not that it matters, I can’t afford to even look in the windows at Saks.

  33. I took on the Saks job to support the people in my studio. The economy has effected us like everyone else, and the Saks job would keep the studio from having to let people go who are not only co-workers but friends. These are creative people who pay their bills with”sell out” work and pursue their own art on nights and weekends. I personally do’\n’t need the work, but I took the job on behalf of my studio. I also really liked Terron, the creative director of Saks. He was very genuine and open minded. I thought it was a fun campaign for Saks with a lot of provocative irony. I oversaw the art, but I spend most of my time on my own art and charity projects. Cleon Peterson from my studio did a great job on the art, and yes, we both agree the model is too skinny. At least we can all agree on that.
    -Shepard Fairey

  34. nice!

  35. Very, very cool of you to come by and give us some insight into the campaign. The last thing you need to worry about is people talking shit in the comments of a blog. Keep doing your thing.

  36. Wowsers. Glad to finally hear from the man himself. Thanks for stopping by to set the record straight, Shep.

    As far as “selling out” goes, I find the notion to be a bit contrived. Because lets face it, artists rely on their creative product in order to survive. And if making commercially motivated artwork becomes an option, I hardly think it should reflect negatively upon the artist and/or their fine art persona. I mean, unless they’re promoting something completely deplorable, which nine times out of ten isn’t the case.

    It’s not “selling out.” It’s called “earning a living.”

    But with great success comes great scrutiny. I believe Kanye put it best when he said “There’ll always be haterz; that’s just the way it iz. Hater niggaz marry hater bitchez and have hater kidz.”

    This mentality of “an artist should struggle throughout their entire life, live a pauper’s existence and only be recognized for their efforts after they die” is complete bullshit.

    As far as this project goes, I’m on the fence. It’s definitely not a direction I would expect from Saks. But I’m glad that high-end places like this are open to exploring the immense potential within a rapidly growing genera of artistic expression.

    This project and the recent Smithsonian Obama portrait acquisition are proof that the movement is headed in the right direction. And in my opinion, it’s about time.

    Thanks to Shep for helping pave the way.

    PS to Shep: PLEASE consider doing an exhibition in Dallas. The art crowd here is primed and ready for it. And you already know where the proper venue is 😉

  37. selling weapons could also be called “earning a living”.

  38. I’m sorry. I don’t follow. What correlation are you trying to draw between selling artwork and selling weapons? Please explain in further detail.

  39. I don’t care who made the work, it could be anyone for all I care. Yes Shep is connected to the project BUT it’s not like it’s a signature project with his artwork endorsing the consumerist themes. What I care about is how freaking stupid the whole message is!


    It’s just that sentiment that got us all into this financial trouble in the first place.

  40. Sell out or not. When does one consider an artist still an artist when the artist no longer continues to evolve his art. After the 90’s there has been little evolution of his work. It’s much like the principal has left the underlings to continue on the work and they have not been allowed to continue in their artistic evolution. The challenge of art is to continue to communicate a message in a visual medium. But when the medium is lacking differentiation or when the message looks the same through out a career is the message still getting across?

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