Throughout Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, official sponsor American Express offered an array of fashion-related events and experiences exclusively to its cardholders. The centerpiece of the sponsorship program was a partnership with Architectural Digest in which the company commissioned renowned interior designer Bill Sofield to create the American Express Skybox, an exclusive space situated above Lincoln Center’s The Theater and The Stage venues, from which guests could view runway shows, listen to talks by designers and fashion editors and sip flutes of champagne.
According to Jessica Igoe, vp-global sponsorship and event marketing at American Express, “Our cardmembers who come to the American Express Skybox have a genuine interest in the world of fashion, and love the opportunity to hear directly from top designers and industry voices in such an intimate setting. The pages of the magazines come to life and there is a much richer experience.” Proceeds from the packages purchased by cardmembers went toward the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, which supports fashion designers on the rise.
Between runway shows, Q&A’s with style icons like Tim Gunn and Betsey Johnson, and panel discussions with fashion editors from the likes of Vogue and Lucky magazines, provided behind-the-scenes access. All the while, cardmembers could sample pastries, coffee, champagne and fruit, as well as passed hors d’oeuvres during the evening shows.
The design and décor of the space were conceived with equal parts function and style. Plush, silvery grey couches curved toward the glass viewing wall, allowing guests to turn comfortably toward speaker presentations after viewing the runways. Mirrored walls enhanced the perceived size of the space, while its focal point, a glowing red antique Chinese theater lantern, an original from Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, hung from the ceiling’s center and evoked the spectacle element of the fashion show.
Additional cardmember events included an off-site runway show, meet-and-greet and after-party with Alexander Wang, and an exclusive show by designer Tory Burch. Each gave attendees the opportunity to “meet the people hanging in their closet,” says Igoe. “At the Tory Burch show, cardmembers saw the presentation on the same day editors and stylists did, but for two hours, and with a dj, cocktails, food—it was almost more exciting.”
For those who could not attend Fashion Week in person, American Express partnered with Twitter for the first time to create an aggregator event page, “Designer All Access by American Express,” featuring live Twitter Views, tweetups and a dedicated section about the designers.
“Our cardmembers like the models and the celebrities,” Igoe explains, “but more than anything they love the designers. We wanted to take our unique industry perspective and share it with people” (Event production/management: Momentum Worldwide, New York City.)