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Marc Eckō Claims to Be Father of the Hipster Beard and Other Weird Things in New Ad Campaign

Marc Eckō is making a comeback, and he wants everyone to know about it. The founder of Complex magazine and popular 90s/early aughts streetwear brand Eckō Unltd., is returning to the design scene, after having sold Eckō Unltd. in 2009 — guess he just couldn’t leave the game alone. In 2013, he dove right back in at the helm of Cut & Sew, his contemporary menswear label. 

To let the world know that he’s back and better than ever, Eckō‘s people have released a series of ads pondering, “Where was Marc Eckō?” before they (sort of) explain what the designer was doing during his time away from the scene. The ads ran in Women’s Wear Daily, and while the concept of the campaign is cool (of course we’re interested to know what Eckō was up to during his four-year hiatus), the ads themselves are…well, they’re a little weird.

Image: Marc Ecko Cut & Sew

Image: Marc Eckō Cut & Sew via WWD

The first ran two weeks ago, picturing a bearded, tattooed fellow (not Eckō) inking Karl Lagerfeld‘s likeness on a woman’s calf. The accompanying blurb reads: “Seeking a change, Marc moved to a mythical place called ‘Brooklyn’ in search of artistic nourishment. Putting ink to skin, he developed a cult following as a tattoo artist. Marc would often work late hours, not shaving and inspired the man-grooming trend that would later be coined ‘The Hipster Beard.'”

Yes, you read that right folks, according to this ad, the designer went to “Brooklyn” (why is that in quotes?) and invented the hipster beard in 2009, because hipster beards were totally not a thing pre-recession. The ad prompts you to contact Eckō‘s people for more information, but when we inquired about the hipster beard, we were told the beard was a “secret.” Secret? 

We spied another Eckō ad yesterday morning in WWD, and this one’s even crazier. The designer, it reads, did a stint as an oceanographer in 2012 before approaching SpaceX founder Elon Musk, asking if he would care to give him a ride into space. According to the story, Musk agreed as long as Eckō could steal Barry Bonds‘ baseball from the Hall of Fame and take it into orbit with him. Yeah, sounds a little farfetched to us, too.

Image: Marc Ecko Cut & Sew

Image: Marc Eckō Cut & Sew via WWD

So, what’s really going on here? The ads are clearly a joke — the stories just seem a little too cray-cray to actually be true. And since we weren’t able to get a clear explanation behind the origin of the hipster beard, the fanciful tales are probably just a marketing ploy, but a clever one at that.

Keep on doing what you’re doing Eckō. The ads are certainly weird, but you’ve got our attention.

[h/t WWD]