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Copy Crush: Entireworld

The year is 2020. I’m not yet wearing a gender-neutralizing hood, but I am wearing forgiving unisex sweats to my next 1,000 Zoom meetings as I work from home. My sweat suit isn’t from Entireworld, but I really wish it were.

What’s Entireworld? A two-year-old brand that’s the latest creative canvas for Scott Sternberg. He was once the boy-genius founder of an upscale fashion line called Band of Outsiders, which was very much The Thing in the mid-to-late-’00s. His new venture, Entireworld, launched in 2018. Its tagline is “The stuff you live in.” Stuff like impossibly comfy couch-wallowing sweats.

There’s a famous Oscar Wilde quote that goes, “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” You could say the same thing of brands. While most of us do want to know whether the people (and brands) we surround ourselves with are good or bad at their core, first we have to like them enough to care. Brands and people charm us into relationships with them, and then those relationships mature into LTRs or dissolve away into a vague memory of someone who was fun, but not trustworthy enough to get any closer to.

But back to charm: What strikes me most about Entireworld’s branding is how it illustrates the importance of including the unnecessary. It’s the little flourishes and asides that establish a brand’s personality and sense of humor. This is what draws people in and makes them curious to know your brand better. And then wonderful things like lasting trust, mutual admiration and undying brand loyalty follow. (I mean, that’s the idea, anyway. Nobody ever said relationships were easy.)

Spend some time on Entireworld’s website to get the idea. It’s committed to filling up as many of your five senses as it possibly can; as you explore, ambient music begins to subtly swell, interspersed with snippets of birdsong and cityscape sounds. Your clicks trigger isolated music-box-like chime tones. (If online Smell-O-Vision were a thing, you know Entireworld would be sending the scent of jasmine or tangerine or cut grass wafting through your screen right now.) It also features a social scroll, updating you on what’s going on across the globe: “Someone in Belfast just logged on.” “It’s drizzling in Mumbai.”

Then head over to Entireworld’s Instagram to view brain-massaging videos of sweat-suit-clad dancers performing Pina Bausch-esque choreography, or erstwhile ’90s kid Kirsten Dunst chatting with a large, shaggy mascot named Muboo. (Also, Muboo has his(?) own Instagram.)

Does this all sound a little silly? That’s kind of the point.

Sternberg’s dedication to his own idiosyncrasy is the source of all his power. Call him the Miranda July of mid-priced khakis or the Wes Anderson of color-coordinated loungewear. (As the New York Times notes, “Entireworld’s sweat suits come in a prism of cheery colors and, in Sternberg’s vision, ‘sort of make you look like a cross between a Teletubbie, Ben Stiller in "The Royal Tenenbaums,” and a J.C. Penney ad from 1979.’ ”) At this point, you’re probably realizing this a love-it-or-hate-it proposition.

Scott’s OK with that. He’s still a boy genius of fashion, but all grown up, and he’s letting his off-kilter vision for the brand filter all the way from a lofty positioning video down into every last bite of copy.

Who’s Sandy Allen? The world’s tallest woman. What’s koumpounophobia? Fear of buttons.

The Entireworld voice is editorial, at times esoteric, and stuffed with references, but still easy, nonchalant and distractible. It's pretty obviously Scott's own voice. Check out the meta descriptions of this link, encouraging you to use your "mouse thing (or your finger)" to click over to the Entireworld page:


If we check out Entireworld's About page, we find an FAQ section that details their efforts in sustainability and transparency, served up with a smile ("We're just a brand, standing in front of a customer, asking you to love us"). They delve into the tricky territory of brand sustainability (trust me, this is a minefield for any brand) but refuse to stop having fun with it, offering questions like, "Why do I need to bother with organic cotton if I'm already buying, like, organic oranges and stuff?"


Most online retailers are eyes-on-the-prize focused on one thing: conversion. And pragmatic wisdom tells us the fastest way to get there is through efficiency, simplicity or appealing to the widest possible demographic and then anticipating their needs. But the point they’ve missed entirely is this: Creating the most efficient or the most streamlined or the most universally appealing experience is never going to be the key to anyone’s heart. What separates Entireworld from a similar wardrobe staple brand like Gap (which is currently spiraling into irrelevance) is a sense of distinct, puckish personality that Gap has long since surrendered. To quote the distinguished philosopher/child-endangering confectionist Willy Wonka: “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.”


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Lily

Lily Hudson
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