By Rosalba Curiel Posted November 11, 2008, 10:21 AM EST
LOS ANGELES The pioneers may have headed west in search of gold, but New York-based Paper magazine journeyed here last week in search of something of equal value to an arts- and style-driven publication: a teeming pool of artists and underground talent, and an untapped market of potential readers. For the fourth consecutive year, the magazine made its east-to-west migration, setting up camp in the city to host its Los Angeles Project from November 5 through 9.
“Celebrating the people of Los Angeles is really at the root of the project,” said Drew Elliott, the mag's New York-based vice president of creative services and marketing. “We see amazing artists coming out of L.A., and we want to celebrate and cover them while raising our visibility in the market, which is a big one for us. We’re creating a Paper posse.”
To do that, the magazine hosted both invite-only and public events. “We like to keep it very democratic,” Elliot said. “You never know when you’re going to resonate with someone.” The magazine turned to Evolutionary Media Group to help rally what Elliott refers to as a “great cast of people” to attend the festivities, which launched with a private opening party last Wednesday night at a West Hollywood pop-up storefront on Sunset Boulevard, decorated by architecture firm Johnston Marklee & Associates. The firm brought in chain-link fence installations to help convert the space into a public 24-hour department store, where artists and fashion labels like Rodarte and retailer Opening Ceremony sold their goods on Friday.
The shop created unique branding opportunities for event sponsors Converse and Levi's. Converse outfitted the band members of 24 musical acts that performed at the department store, while Levi's tailored jeans to suit customers’ requests at its on-site “chop shop.”
“At Paper, we look at the DNA of our sponsors, and we try to come up with an organic, out-of-the-box way of including them,” Elliot said. One of the ways the magazine accomplished that this year was to partner with Levi's to launch the Unreal Awards, which celebrate reality television stars. The award show name played off the denim company’s unbuttoned ad campaign, whose message was reinforced at Thursday’s award night at Cinespace, where photo opportunities featuring a mock Paper cover featured a headline that read: “The stars have become unbuttoned.”