Hickey Freeman: Heroes & Leaders

Design, Retouching

For Hickey Freeman’s F/W 2017 and S/S 2018 seasons, the team at Kworq designed and produced a 360 campaign to elevate the brand’s Heroes & Leaders CSR initiative to the next level. Leveraging Hickey Freeman’s history with the armed forces, the brand partnered with NGOs Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) and FourBlock to provide assistance for returning US military veterans. The Campaign, Purpose Never Ends, focused on dispelling the stereotype of veterans as broken people, portraying them instead as assets to society and the workplace.

Purpose Never Ends

The campaign highlights the central difficulty veterans have when reacclimating to civilian life: the loss of structure, as they usually have no experience in adult life outside of the military. Instead of portraying veterans as damaged people in need of charity, the brand featured veterans with successful careers who attribute their accomplishments to the leadership and discipline they’ve acquired from military service. For them, purpose never ends. Hickey Freeman also provided suits to returning veterans through VOWS and FourBlock, as an extension of the brand’s legacy of producing uniforms for the US Military during WW1.

The Veterans

Inspired by the story of Jacob Sipple, former US Marine and a manager in the company’s Rochester, NY factory, the brand featured Sipple and four other veterans in their F/W’17 and S/S’18 campaigns. Wes Moore, Army Veteran, author, and CEO of the Robin Hood Foundation. Joe Cardona, Navy Reserve, and player for the New England Patriots. Jake Wood, Marine Veteran, and founder of Team Rubicon, a disaster-relief organization employing veterans. Sunny Li, Marine Veteran, and Citibank Associate.

The campaign was photographed by fashion photographer and Army Veteran Raen Badua.

The military injected the importance of leadership into my life at a time when I needed it the most.

The Campaign

All 5 men were photographed in their work environments wearing a variety of outfits from Hickey Freeman’s catalog, bridging the gap between editorial and fashion. The team at Kworq retouched and prepared photographs for digital ads as well as Hickey Freeman’s physical stores, and video captured on set was used to produce a series of profiles. This content was also used to create landing pages and a 12-week social media campaign.


Kworq designed and developed a landing page to present Hickey Freeman’s CSR effort while providing in-depth profiles on all the featured Veterans.

Digital Ads

The campaign had a substantial online ad push, with a set of digital banners along with front page placements in the New York Times and the Washington Post.

Social Media

Two 6-week campaigns (one for each season) were laid out for Hickey Freeman’s owned channels, marking a departure from the brand’s routine posting.


A series of 30-second videos were created to feature each veteran along with a unified edit featuring all five. These videos were posted to Hickey Freeman’s youtube channel and featured on the online landing page, and were also played at Hickey Freeman’s physical stores.


By presenting veterans with dignity while leveraging the brand’s uniquely American heritage, the campaign was incredibly successful for Hickey Freeman, creating a 102% increase in sales in 2017 and over 250 press pickups. Heroes & Leaders and Purpose Never Ends continue to be a centerpiece of the brand, and new veterans have been featured every season since.


KK & Jay