By Erin Letson Posted June 26, 2009, 10:00 AM EDT
TORONTO In these challenging times for the real estate industry, Toronto condo developers are trying harder than ever to set their projects apart from the competition. Freed Developments’ latest marketing move? Calling on 11 fashion designers to furnish a floor in the still-to-be-constructed Fashion House condos—and throwing a cocktail party for media, investors, and buyers to announce the partnerships.
“The party gives people a chance to interact with designers, so it becomes more than just ‘This guy designed my floor.' It’s about meeting him and finding out why he joined the project,” said AJ Manji, marketing and business development manager at Freed Developments. He added that the company will launch a new Fashion House Web site next week with video clips of each designer and examples of their work.
To give guests a preview of the styles the condo project’s floors will take on, the selected designers and labels—among them Joeffer Caoc, Beckerman, Jeremy Laing, Jay Godfrey, Bustle, and Smythe—contributed to hanging storyboards that included magazine clippings, fabric samples, photos, and sketches. Greta Constantine mixed swatches of stone, leather, wood, and hay-like tiles with photos of horses, while accessories designer Jenny Bird posted photos of style icon Iris Apfel as inspiration. Many of the storyboards didn’t have designer names on them, with only style hints as to which designer fit where.
Freed Developments also revealed a partnership with Holt Renfrew at the party, planned by ASC PR. The department store’s staff styled the large windows of the Fashion House’s presentation centre with mannequins wearing the designers’ pieces, which will be on display for 10 days. Freed is also hosting an online contest for potential condo buyers, who will be entered into a drawing to win a $100,000 shopping spree at the retail store.
To build further interest in the Fashion House project, the developer is launching a competition in September that will call on designers to submit their plans for a communal space in the building. (The winner will be chosen next year.) The King Street West project—which recently won two Building Industry and Land Development awards—is scheduled for completion in 2011.