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Vice Media acquires majority stake in Starworks

Lauretta Roberts
29 July 2016

Fast-growing youth media group Vice Media has acquired a controlling stake in leading fashion and beauty brand development and creative agency Starworks Group. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal creates a “one of a kind brand development and media offering that transforms brands through content-driven strategies, guided by real-time data and consumer insights, and amplified through a best in class global media network” the companies said.

Vice Media co-president Andrew Creighton said in terms of agency models fashion had "incredible creativity" but was “in many ways stuck in the past”. “We’ve long admired James [Grant SWG CEO] and his team at SWG’s passion and vision to create a new business platform that represents today's consumer. Together, we’ll bring that vision to life through insights, data, innovation and the best content in the world."

Vice specialises in media for the so-called Millennial market (consumers in the 18-35 year old age bracket). It was launched in 1994 and now operates in more than 30 countries and distributes its programming to viewers across digital, linear, mobile, film and social networks. It includes an international network of digital channels; a television and feature film production studio; a magazine (i-D); a record label; an in-house creative services agency; a book-publishing division; and a newly launched TV network.

Starworks meanwhile was founded in 2000 by James Grant and Alana Varel and specialises in bringing fashion and beauty brands together with the entertainment industry. It has offices in LA, New York and London and is divided into three divisions Starworks Fashion, Starworks Beauty and Starworks Talent.

The partnership with Vice offers it the chance to expand into more markets internationally while working closely with existing Vice agencies Virtue Worldwide, Carrot and Pulse across strategy, digital and content creation, it said. It will, however, continue to represent its portfolio of clients, which includes Calvin Klein, Ivy Park, Kenzo and Farfetch, with a “media neutral perspective”.

“This partnership evolves the antiquated fashion agencies model,” said Grant. ”The market has fundamentally changed. Youth are driving global consumer culture. Consumers know what they like, but brands are confused about how to give it to them. Our collaboration, created in response to market needs, brings everyone together; connecting old dots with new through a simple, transparent solution that gives everyone what they want.”



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