By Anna Sekula Posted September 11, 2008, 10:00 AM EDT
Filled with celebrities, press, and buyers, Fashion Week is always packed with brands promoting their wares. Although companies such as U.K.-based pharmacy Boots, title sponsor Mercedes-Benz, and American Express had the most visibility with booths around the perimeter of the tent lobby, others looked for different ways to grab the attention of the busy attendees. Of the many sponsors and companies hanging around the tents, a couple stood out with free toys and goods.
In its first appearance at Fashion Week, OfficeMax tapped PR and production company Harrison & Shriftman to design a lounge in the tents that would introduce its new Bazaar line of products and attract the attention of showgoers. Harrison & Shriftman creative director Ryan Jordan purposely took items from the office supplies collection—designed for a more fashion-focused consumer—and created a fanciful area with a blue-and-orange color scheme, display shelves, and computer stations. Catering company Olivier Cheng served up sweet treats, including mini carrot cupcakes, white chocolate meringue lollipops, and cookies decorated to look like notepads and rubber band balls.
Also inside the tents was Havaianas, the Brazilian manufacturer of colorful flip flops. As it did last year, the company's booth drew a long queue of people eager to customize their own pair of sandals. New this year were the charms pinned to the straps—one was a Mercedes-Benz logo and the other was a Swarovski crystal. Alison Brod provided the publicity for the promotion.
Outside of Bryant Park, Smart Car and Club Monaco tried a less traditional promotion to advertise the clothing company's fall 2008 collection and newly outfitted Smart Fortwo cars. Taking the idea of a trunk show literally, the Club Monaco-branded vehicles drove to specific sites in the city—from outside the Mercer Hotel and Pastis to the corner of Madison Square Park and the Condé Nast building—and used models to hand out cashmere scarves, sunglasses, jewelry, and small Italian leather goods to passersby.
For ShopStyle.com, PR agency Dan Klores Communications also handed out products—small packs of fridge poetry—hot pink magnets with random Fashion Week words on them. Supposedly dedicated to and inspired by the city's “high-style elite,” the kits from the shopping Web site included terms like “Chanel,” “Anna Wintour,” “faux pas,” “peep-toe,” and “fierce.”
Perhaps the most unusual sight around Bryant Park was a promotion from cosmetics company Ahava. Models in bikinis, covered from head-to-toe in green clay, handed out product samples to a curious crowd outside the tents.