MIAMI. – Fans of DJ Khaled recently stopped traffic on the streets of Miami.
The crowd weren’t there for a new album drop.
They had come to check out the recording artist’s new concept store, a massive space full of “athleisure wear” and sneakers that is the result of his work with the German streetwear company Snipes.
“Today was so special FANLUV THANK YOU !” the artist later wrote in a series of Instagram posts featuring videos of him chatting to shoppers and promoting the anthem Let’s Go Shopping.
The Grammy award-winning music mogul isn’t just the brand’s hype man.
Shortly after he began working with the brand, he was recruited as Snipes’ chief creative officer, becoming the latest A-list name to spin his celebrity profile into a C-suite title, or high-ranking executive role.
It’s a title he doesn’t take lightly.
“They had me as the face of their stores, it was just a beautiful opportunity and we ended up loving each other. Now I have a job at Snipes,” he told the BBC ahead of the store’s opening.
But what can a celebrity like DJ Khaled really contribute to the role of creative officer?
The producer points out that he is more than just a celebrity.
“We’re visionaries too.”
According to Sven Voth, chief executive and founder of Snipes, DJ Khaled’s appointment did raise eyebrows outside of the company when it was first announced in 2019.
“Everybody in the United States thought this German guy’s a little crazy because this is a little bit too much for what it is,” he says.
At the time, Snipes had only 65 shops in the US.
Mr Voth credits the rapper’s dedication for helping grow the company’s footprint to over 300 stores today.
“I think that was the best starting point we could have,” he says.
DJ Khaled’s role is part of a re-emerging trend of famous faces taking on top corporate positions.
Luxury fashion house Louis Vuitton tapped Pharrell Williams to be its meanswear creative director, while Lanvin turned to rapper Future.
Traditionally, the creative director was the person who defined the creative vision of a brand from sketching the collection, to overseeing ad campaigns and the design of the boutique.
With a celebrity creative director, the rules are more fluid, reflecting a change in how brands harness the power of celebrity.
The companies are looking for a deeper “personification of their brand” by employing celebrities, says Matt Nastos, CEO of Maison MRKT, a digital marketing agency.
“Brand ambassador relationships are more fleeting, while having celebrities as part of your organisation has an implied authenticity and longevity.” – BBC.