How Sun-Ny Side Up Pairs Socially Relevant Pieces Of Street Culture With Culture-Based Brands

Rory Roth and Jill Ferree have been co-workers for about 10 years. The two were casting faces at Wilhelmina for various projects for the better part of 2019 before Wilhelmina needed to further its cultural collaborations. Roth and Ferree stepped up to the job and shortly after they would be casting projects with beauty entrepreneurs and social media influencers.

In October of 2019, Roth and Ferree would become co-founders, launching Sun-ny Side Up, a brand cultural marketing agency. The 360 cultural marketing agency thrives on merging the ever-omnipresent “Multi-hyphenate” with brands that speak to street culture and fashion markets. Sun-ny Side Up also has a brand roster they work with, merging unique talent to brand messaging. 

They brought with them the beauty influencer Kristen Noel Crawley, as well as social media influencer and futurist stylist, Bloody Osiris who was also under Wilhelmina, to the Sun-ny Side Up name. The founding duo would establish themselves as creative professionals who can execute their synchronous vision of brand and talent. Rory and Ferree have mastered the one-of-one talent they house under their agency; they’ve connected music and fashion photographer RayCurrupted, with NBA legend Dennis Rodman, and skater and fashion model Evan Mock, for UGGs, known for its cozy and bold look. 

When Sun-ny Side Up “have an idea,” they convince brands to “let us do it for you,” Rory exudes. Sun-ny Side Up is a boutique agency putting together socially and culturally relevant pieces. Building a world around experiences in fashion and lifestyle with brand launches and activation, the cultural marketing agency implements a creative strategy that garners mass appeal.

The boutique agency got a hold of the social influencer Crawley, and immediately wanted to find the connecting dots for her and her KNC Beauty brand. “We wanted to help evolve her career. By doing so we implemented a strategy to look to grow her business in different ways. Strategizes through different editorial opportunities, different speaking engagements, different collaborations. And now we got to the point where we just did a deal with Champion for the first female capsule collection that the athletic brand has ever done,” says Roth. That also included extended sizes in the Champion and Crawley collaboration. 

Launching the Champion collaborative collection at Complex Con was one of the ‘big ideas’ that Rory and Ferree were able to execute for their clients. “We were able to produce the campaign, and imagery that was in stores. We did the design of the booth at Complex-Con. The design of the seating for the Champion collaboration. And then we did some in-store events, and helped them with their media content and social content rollout,” Ferree explains. 

Sun-ny Side Up is now in conversation with Champion for 2022 and 2023 campaigns and collaborations. Kristen Crawley has also collaborated with Revlon, and Moose Knuckle with Vlady who is ASAP Rocky’s photographer while operating her namesake KNC Beauty brand. At the start of the pandemic and the height of anti-racism protests around the world, Rory and Ferree convinced Revlon to work with Crawley on a KNC Beauty School, educating young BIPOC beauty entrepreneurs on the brand building and business structure and strategies.

The free KNC Beauty School held classes with respected panel guests and a curriculum with 45-minute courses on subjects. The semester had 600 women signees for the Q&A session, while participants learned insider information on the beauty and fashion industry. Revlon has also donated $10,000 as a small business grant for the fifth time already, supporting participants who submit a sound business plan proposal.

Roth and Ferree allowed for Kristen Crawley and created avenues for KNC Beauty to make a difference in the beauty community. The Sun-ny Side Up co-founders operate as producers of various marketing events and promotions and have built trust between their agency and collaborating partners. 

The KNC Beauty School extended its curriculum with an Instagram Live chat with Eva Chen, Head of Fashion at Instagram, for their first Fashion and Beauty panel talk. They have also worked with Dennis Todisco, Head of Streetwear at Instagram, previously.

Sun-ny Side Up and its founders have a vivid vision for the brands and talent they work with. They have worked with digital artist @law_degree – on Instagram – to create an animation of Bloody Osiris, and NBA athlete Russell Westbrook, for a 2020 voting campaign with When We All Vote and Axe, the body spray company. The Digital Art [NFT-like] spun 3D metallic renderings of the two stylish influencers. Bloody Osiris will also have future projects that involve actual NFTs, noted by Roth and Ferree. 

“The Metaverse is the future and there’s no doubt about it. I think people will have to wrap their heads around the metaverse now! It’s integrated into the way people [live] – It would be interesting to see what happens during Men’s Paris Fashion week; see exclusive clothing drops through NFTs,” says Roth.

Ferree agrees and considers a deeper dive stating, “I’m really interested in ‘DAOs.’ Decentralized Autonomous Organizations. They are new communities and groups where people are sharing all this information. Like Discord!” 

Roth and Ferree are well aware of the opportunities within the metaverse. “It’s fascinating how things can be discussed. Big brands don’t have all the power. It’s really shifting, even with NFTs for the artists – in artists’ hands. How decisions are made – I think that’s super cool,” says Ferree.

“I also feel personalization is going to be a huge thing. I know there’s been a lot on sustainability. It hasn’t hit its focus yet. There’s something about being conscious of your fashion consumption choices. In the next few years that will become more and more important. Right now, it’s like animation, ASMR; the sci-fi-esque; not fitting into cultural norms. I think it is something fashion is really embracing,” Roth concludes.

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