There were two ways for a non-sponsoring brand to get in on the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week action this September in New York City: get official and join the Fashion’s Night Out festivities, or go guerrilla. Here, EM shows you some of the best in each category.
FASHION’S NIGHT OUT
For the FNO partners, it was all about retail ROI on event night. To that end, the streets on Sept. 10 were lined with coupons and the sales were deep and delicious. Saks Fifth Avenue went for the party feel, with thumping tunes on the main floor that made consumers feel the beat and a club-like atmosphere that helped build the excitement of the buying frenzy. Every floor of the high-end department store had a different vibe, each reflecting the products on offer in that department, and from 7 to 9 p.m. the tasty rock ‘n’ roll treat truck rolled up for a little flavorful fun.
At Lord & Taylor on Fifth Avenue, the department store took the treat truck idea to the hilt, with a Food Truck Face-off, which unfortunately didn’t involve actual trucks, but on several floors of the store, goodies were available for tasting near truck-themed backdrops. The success was obvious in the lines that wound around the floor. The lock boxes with a chance to win $1 million were a big draw, too.
Elizabeth and James, a boutique fashion shop in Greenwich Village, was unveiling a new line under the names of Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. So the twin celebrities worked the register for an hour, which was only a bit longer than most of the patrons waited to get inside and buy the couture. Luckily, hot dj Cassie Coane was there to spin the vinyl all night long and keep the guests feelin’ the love.
BEYOND THE BOUTIQUES
For out-of-towners heading into the City for fashion’s big week, the Fashion Central activation in Grand Central Terminal was likely the first stop. There were several jewelry and makeup artists displaying their wares, but the star of the footprint just off of Vanderbilt Hall was Match.com. To drive new registrations to the dating site, brand ambassadors invited single passersby into the booth to sign up and, as a sweet incentive, if they did sign up, they’d get a quickie makeover and a professional profile photo taken right there on the spot to upload to the site. Takers? You betcha.
Taking a more guerrilla-style tack was L’Oréal Paris with a series of attack makeovers. The street teams of stylists hit neighborhoods all over Manhattan and Brooklyn looking for fashion failures and helping them get into the spirit of the season with on-the-spot makeovers, fixing hair and makeup with L’Oréal products.