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7 Of The Smartest Brand Activations So Far At NYFW

7 Of The Smartest Brand Activations So Far At NYFW
Experiential Marketing

From subversive cross-market collaborations to one-of-a-kind events, Fashion Week is showing just how creative brands can be

Matt Vitone
  • 11 september 2017

New York Fashion Week is in high gear and, as ever, it has been a great platform for innovative brand collaborations and unique marketing strategies. This year we’ve seen fashion brands differentiate themselves in unusual ways, in addition to non-fashion brands getting in on the fun with their own stylish takes. Here are a few of our favorites so far.

Bloomingdale’s Blink-Or-You’ll-Miss-It Runway Show

“See now, buy now” has been a growing marketing trend for several seasons, but this year Bloomingdale’s has taken the concept even further with a fully shoppable 60-second runway show. Hosted by television personality Kristin Cavallari and co-sponsored by Cotton Inc., “the world’s first 60-second fashion show” was made available online, where viewers could pause the show at any moment and select outfits, access product information, share on social media platforms and purchase items directly from the runway.

Opening Ceremony Finds Its Dancing Feet

If models walking down a runway isn’t quite exciting enough for you, then how about a bit of modern dance? Opening Ceremony‘s creative duo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim chose the concept of a classic love story as the basis for this season’s collection. The result is “Changers: A Dance Story,” a beautiful original piece written and directed by Spike Jonze, and starring actors Mia Wasikowska and Lakeith Stanfield. The dance piece will run through Friday at Manhattan’s La MaMa Theater in the East Village, with all proceeds from the American Express-sponsored event going to Hurricane Harvey victims.

The Return Of #29Rooms Brings Brands Directly To Millenials

Digital fashion and lifestyle publication Refinery29 brings together brands, artists and fans under one roof at its third annual 29Rooms event, an interactive exhibition running in Brooklyn through today. The event, which sold out weeks before it opened, features multiple spaces with colorful designs that are all perfectly tailored for Instagram and Snapchat. The real brilliance here is in how effortlessly brands are integrated into the experience, letting visitors interact with them in new ways. Shoe retailer Aldo, for instance, has created a “Love Walk” on a glowing, re-imagined runway surrounded by a coiled structure covered in nearly 250 shoes. Other brand partners at the exhibition include Dunkin’ Donuts, Clarins, Juicy Couture Fragrance, Ulta Beauty, and Cadillac with Jason Wu.

Had a blast with @tezzamb at #29rooms! Come see it, you are the #AldoCrew, and this is your Love Walk. ❤️

A post shared by ALDO shoes (@aldo_shoes) on

Rihanna’s Cross-Promotional Blitz

Having already successfully made the transition from pop superstar to fashion industry heavyweight, Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma line has brought renewed relevance to the German footwear company, especially among the much-coveted millennial female demographic. This year the singer has taken her branding prowess up another notch with the launch of Fenty Beauty, a range of makeup products that includes foundation and concealer. Though far from the first celebrity to branch out into other ventures, there’s something in just how seamlessly she incorporates all of her projects, as well as her own vibrant personality, into one synergistic mega-brand, from which all brands could learn a thing or two.

Bow down. @badgalriri @fentyxpuma #fentybeauty hits #NYFW

A post shared by FENTY BEAUTY BY RIHANNA (@fentybeauty) on

TELFAR Gives White Castle Uniforms Chic Makeover

If the DHL uniform can have a fashion moment, then clearly we’ve reached a point of no return in branded clothing trends. Could White Castle be next? The fast food chain, which has done a number of subversive marketing campaigns over the years, has let New York City-based unisex fashion label TELFAR reimagine and design original uniforms for its nearly 400 restaurants and 10,000 team members nationwide. The new uniform is inspired by the brands’ shared influence on Americana and their status as “Originals” in their respective industries. White Castle and TELFAR plan to continue the partnership beyond team member uniforms with a capsule streetwear collection and launch event this October.

Reebok’s Fashion Week Fitness Sanctuary

If stomping from show to show wasn’t quite enough exercise for fashion week attendees, fitness footwear and clothing brand Reebok has partnered with NYC’s Gotham Gym to create “Fit to Fashion,” an exclusive fitness class for NYFW attendees. Classes are lead by Gotham Gym creator Rob Piela, with each class featuring a special guest, including pop group Fifth Harmony, fitness expert Mia Kang and IMG model Ashley Moore. The class runs for 45 minutes and those who survive the sweat-inducing session are rewarded with some of the latest swag from Reebok.

eBay Draws Outside The Lines With Shoppable Illustrations

While rival Amazon has been pushing hard to make waves as a fashion retailer, we haven’t heard nearly as much from eBay. The online auction site is getting creative for fashion week, however, with the launch of its new Shop The Look feature. Enlisting the help of several talented illustrators, fashion sketches are made shoppable with the site’s Shop The Look image recognition technology, which lets you choose from a number of similar items to the ones shown in the drawings.

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