Behind the Branding: Born on Fifth

Behind The Branding

As you may have guessed with my background in marketing (I spent my pre-Born on Fifth years working my way up the Spanx ranks, from Brand Coordinator to Director), when I decided to launch my own venture (and I say venture since I’m not sure quite what else to call this evolving entity), the branding was my first order of business. After realizing that my go-to girl had a full plate and couldn’t take me on as a client (le sigh), I did some research and found an agency out of LA that caught my eye.

I filled out their inquiry form in a very stream of consciousness way and was, honestly, a little bit surprised when they wrote me back to schedule a call. When we did speak, I got to know the agency’s founder, Cleo Murnane, and instantly felt a comfort level that I don’t ordinarily experience without a face-to-face meeting. I explained to Cleo that I had an idea (at this point, that was about all I had) and she put me to work, pushing me to define exactly what it was that I wanted to launch. We determined that a blog would be the best place for me, a writer, to start and off we went.

Our first order of business was what to call this yet-to-be-written blog, as my then-Instagram handle (@emilyfashion) wasn’t going to cut it. This exercise was an interesting one for me as a big part of my job at Spanx was naming. To step back from my own “brand” and realize that it needed a legitimate name was an easy pill to swallow. What was harder was relinquishing control of the naming process that I had so-owned in my former life! I jotted down a million and one ideas, “interesting tidbits” about myself and anything I could think of that had significance in my life. My mom, days earlier, had been going through her regular “where did you come from with your fashion sense” routine (to which my dad replies, each time, that he had a background in the garment industry…it’s a fun bit), but this time she said, “well it makes sense, I guess. You were born on Fifth Avenue, after all.”

I noted this line because it had never dawned on me that Mount Sinai Hospital was on Fifth Avenue. Also among the notes: my favorite number has always been five because I was born on October Fifth and, oh yes, Elle was born on February Fifth.

Cleo and her wonderful team (made up of Nicole and Amber) put two and two (or five and five, perhaps) together and pitched me several names…Born on Fifth being the obvious front-runner and winner. It just made sense!

After the naming process, we kicked off the design phase. This requires less explanation, as Amber did such a nice job with the visuals, I’ll let them speak for themselves. My aesthetic was pretty clear through both options and we ended up picking the logo that harkens back to the iconic Saks Fifth Avenue with a hint of handwriting (since I am stationery-obsessed and love the written word).

The business cards incorporate some of the secondary elements such as the animal print pattern (they’re also on the website). Ok, enough talking…enjoy taking a look around!


Thanks to Project M+ for their work on the Born on Fifth branding.

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