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Cotton Inc. and Opening Ceremony Celebrate Self-Expression in New Campaign

Cotton Incorporated and Opening Ceremony are celebrating the iconic cotton T-shirt as a timeless medium for self-expression by creating “The Most Powerful Tee,” a limited-edition shirt, accompanied by a video and media campaign.

The special video developed by ad agency DDB (view it here) and the T-shirt will be available for purchase at Opening Ceremony’s store at 33-35 Howard Street in New York and online starting Monday.

“Long before there were tweets, cotton T-shirts were the canvas of self-expression,” Kim Kitchings, senior vice president of consumer marketing at Cotton Inc., said. “Before the anonymity offered by social media, people wore statements of their likes, dislikes and philosophies for all the world to see. The designers at Opening Ceremony are known for self-expression through fashion and were the ideal partners to remind consumers that the cotton T is an authentic medium relevant to our time.”

According to Cotton Inc.’s Lifestyle Monitor Survey, more than 80 percent of consumers wear T-shirts all year long, with 46 percent preferring them with printed messages as a means of expression.

“We’ve always felt that Opening Ceremony is a town square of sorts, where we encourage all walks of life to come together, so using the empty square on the T-shirt felt like a meaningful way to harness the message of this project,” Humberto Leon, co-founder and creative director of Opening Ceremony, said. “With this project, we hope to encourage thought around the importance of self-expression at such a crucial time for our society.”

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“The Most Powerful Tee” features historical footage coupled with statements and images made more impactful by the cotton T-shirt. The video also includes footage of diverse urbanites in statement-making T-shirts, meant to emphasize the individuality and power an otherwise basic T-shirt that has the right message can express.

“While Cotton is a long-established brand, it has real, timeless relevance, just like the T-shirt,” Cassandra Anderson, creative director at DDB New York, said. “Our goal in the creation of the film and the accompanying campaign is to prove this to a new audience in a way that is authentic and reflective of how they naturally interact with brands and consume content.”

Cotton Inc., funded by U.S. cotton producers and importers of cotton and cotton textile products, conducts worldwide research and promotion activities to increase the demand for and profitability of cotton.

Opening Ceremony, founded in 2002 in New York by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon, has grown to include retail outlets in New York, Los Angeles and Tokyo, as well as the Opening Ceremony ready-to-wear and accessories collections for men and women, and a comprehensive online platform.