DARIEN — Visitors to the Darien Sport Shop looking to do their back-to-school shopping may see some familiar faces hanging up around the store. The Boston Post Road business, which has been a town staple for over 70 years, is further entrenching itself in the community by using local models for their new ad campaign, dropping in mid-August.

Using local models isn’t necessarily new for the store. Last year, the store incorporated Darien residents into their commercial celebrating their 70th anniversary. But this is the first time the store will be using local models for a print ad campaign.

“This year we’re doing more still-life fashion photographs,” said Geri Corrigan, marketing and branding consultant for the Darien Sport Shop. “It’ll be a wide assortment of back-to-school looks for kids.”

“I wanted to use ‘real’ kids in the campaign that would have fun interacting together and show great personality, too,” she added.

Corrigan said the store is working with buyers to create a range of uniform, casual and dressier outfits for the shoot. The photos will be shot by Bethel-based fashion photographer Kristen Jensen and will appear in the shop’s email campaigns and social media, as well as in the store.

After putting out a casting call, Corrigan said she got hundreds of parents emailing in photos of their children in hopes they’d be chosen for the campaign. For the shoot, Corrigan cast 14 children from around Fairfield County ranging from age six to 14 and displaying a range of looks.

“What’s interesting to me is a lot of people in the community have kids who are professional models,” Corrigan said. “What’s great about casting kids is they look like kids. Teens look like models, but these kids look like regular kids.”

A week before the mid-August shoot, Corrigan had some of the models come into the Sport Shop for a fitting, so she could see what sizes they wear for t-shirts, jeans and blazers.

Troy Carper, 6, and his mother, Meredith, took a timeout from the pool to come in one Thursday afternoon so Troy could try on some selections off the Sports Shop floor.

“He loves to be in front of the camera,” Meredith Carper said. “He’s very excited for it.”

This will be the first time modeling for Troy Carper who is going into first grade at Tokeneke Elementary School.

Some of the other models, however, are more experienced. Austin Peck, 13, has modeled in New York City and is looking forward to being able to work locally.

“He’s done modeling with Wilhemina Kids,” said Austin’s mother, Kacey Peck. “He was discovered. He hated going into the city. It got in the way of football.”

Whether the models are professionals or novice, all expressed excitement about seeing themselves in local ads.

“It’s great being able to use local talent,” Corrigan said. “They’re great kids and with the rise of social media, kids love being in photos.”


ct.com; @erin_kayata