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Brief Published: 21 Sep 2016

NYFW S/S 17 Public Brand Experiences

Gigi Hadid, Tommy Pier

Unconventional settings, ‘See-Now, Buy-Now’ (SNBN) initiatives and unprecedented public access illustrated how the ‘masstige’ catwalks are morphing into a consumer-facing spectacle. We select the highlights.

See-Now, Buy-Now Street Spectaculars

  • Tommy Hilfiger celebrated the launch of its Tommy x Gigi collection (a partnership with US model Gigi Hadid) with Tommy Pier – a carnival-esque outdoor extravaganza at Pier 16, South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan. Staged for a combined industry/consumer audience, 50% of the 2,000 guests were competition winners or loyalty club members. Alongside the show, guests were treated to classic fairground attractions including a 40 ft Ferris wheel, tattoo parlour, nail bar, games and hot dog stands.
    Not solely a marketing exercise, it was also the brand’s first SNBN collection. Many pieces were available for guests to purchase immediately post-show on-site via pop-up shops and a specially curated vintage store. The collection was released in full the next day via all the brand’s international outlets.
  • NY-based designer Rebecca Minkoff partially closed the street outside its SoHo flagship to present its collection. Seated guests flanked the cobble-stoned catwalk, but passers-by were also able to glimpse the goings-on. Post-show, the collection was available to all in-store. Fellow New York designer Rachel Comey also took to SoHo’s streets for her label’s presentation nearby its Crosby Street flagship.
  • Ralph Lauren not only shut down a stretch of Madison Avenue outside its flagship store, but also built a giant temporary greenhouse-like structure to house its invite-only sidewalk catwalk. Partially plugging into the SNBN trend, more than 150 items went on sale in global flagships immediately afterwards, while show guests enjoyed an after party/shopping event.
  • US designer Alexander Wang’s catwalk show finale teased fans with glimpses of his forthcoming Spring 2017 collaboration with Adidas. The day after the show, Wang created a belated buy-now buzz by deploying a pop-up truck selling just nine items from the 84-piece collection at three spots in the city. Two further trucks hit Tokyo and London last week.

For more on SNBN, see Seasonal Disruption – part of New Fashion Landscape, and Fashion in Flux

Rebecca Minkoff
Ralph Lauren
Wang X Adidas
Tommy Hilfiger

Immersive Experiences

  • British make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury capitalised on the abundance of own-label virtual reality (VR) headsets at Samsung’s multifaceted 837 flagship. She debuted a collaborative 360 VR experience (open to the public via Tilbury and Samsung’s websites) created for the brand's first ever fragrance campaign.
  • US lifestyle website Refinery 29 reprised its culture, content and commerce agenda with a second immersive 29 Rooms ‘funhouse’ inside a Brooklyn warehouse. Open to the public, the photo-op-primed 80,000 sq ft space housed 29 themed installations by artists, non-profit organisations, celebrities and brands. Highlights included Lady Gaga’s Born this Way Foundation’s recording studio, where guests recorded sharable #ShoutOutKindness messages; designer Nicola Formichetti’s Nico Panda ball pit; and the Aura Photography room by US artist Christina Lonsdale.

See also Samsung 837 Hyperactive Flagship, Milan 2016: Brand Experiences, Rio Olympics: Brand Experiences and Panorama Festival Brand Activations.

Charlotte Tilbury
Samsung 837
29 Rooms, Aura Reading Image
29 Rooms, Nicopanda Pit

Harnessing Heritage

  • UAE national airline Etihad hosted a VIP lounge with British luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo for the duration of Fashion Week, using his archival material to demonstrate cultural kudos. The space hosted a retrospective of the brand’s 20 most iconic shoes of the last two decades, framed by the anniversary campaign shot by British photographer Craig McDean.  
  • US auto brand Cadillac’s lifestyle-courting Cadillac House flagship (SoHo) staged an exhibition of digital images in partnership with New York-based Visionaire magazine, paying tribute to American fashion photographer Richard Avedon and his work with Calvin Klein.

 See also Inside & Inclusive: the B2C Retail Trade Show Trend.

Ethiad and Jimmy Choo
Cadillac House
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