Christopher Durham Launches New Book “Vanguard: Vintage Originals”

Christopher Durham, author and president of My Private Brand, officially launched the much-anticipated follow-up book to his best-selling first book Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. His newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, this past week at Velocity: The My Private Brand Conference in Charlotte, NC.

“There’s a piece of retail history we’ve been missing because we’ve all taken it for granted,” said Durham. “Traditionally, retailers and the press think the private brand movement began in the 1970s, with generic white packaging. Through this book, I reveal what’s been in front of us all this time, and hidden in people’s attics: retailers have a long history of innovation and branding.”

In his beautiful photographic history, Durham goes on to explain that many private brands date back to the early 1800’s and either predate national brands or were their contemporaries, just as big, just as loved. He shares their hidden history, long forgotten. Whether it’s showing us retail’s earliest groundbreaking brand builders like Sears, Walgreens, Kroger and A&P, or reminding us that in 1893, Caleb Bradham created Brad’s Drink for his drug store, which today we know as Pepsi-Cola, Durham walks us through the early innovations of private brand.

With stunning images from acclaimed photographer Teri Campbell, who also shot the photos in Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project, Durham brings to life the collection of more than 100 original vintage private label packages.

This private brand history is a must-have for any private brand manager or brand-builder. Providing inspiration and protecting the history we’ve all forgotten, Vanguard: Vintage Originals shows the influence and innovation early retailers wielded over the industry, then and now.


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Christopher Durham
Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.