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EVENT REPORT

Springtime Spread for Target & Lifebeat

April 16, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

Lifebeat Red benefitStudio 450Monday, 04.08.02, 8 PM to 12 midnight
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While Kmart struggles with bankruptcy proceedings and Wal-mart basks at the top of the Fortune 500, in the middle of the retailing triad is Target, the hard-partying retailer who doesn't have a store in Manhattan, but hosts a lot of events here. Its latest community outreach effort has been extended to the urban entertainment industry and its related nonprofits. The night before the big Lifebeat - The Music Industry Fights AIDS benefit concert at the Beacon Theater last Tuesday--which boasted performances from hip-hop bigwigs like Sean P. Diddy Combs, Ja Rule and Jay-Z--Target held a red-themed party at Studio 450 to support's Lifebeat's work in the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS. (Target has already reached out to the fashion industry, the art community, and the design crowd with similar events in the past few years.)

Marketing firm Persaud Brothers took inspiration from Target's red bull's-eye logo and pop art sensibility, and filled the space with red lights and designer furniture from Props for Today for a modern, yet retro event that mixed a crowd of press and music and fashion industry types in the two-story studio. A steel and white frosted bar--one very similar to the bar used at the Target Townhouse event--was backlit with red lights and red votive candles were suspended from clear acrylic sheets overhead. The event was one of a series of red-themed parties we've seen recently, including Campari's Red Cross benefit, Harper's Bazaar's relaunch party, the Cordon Rouge promo party and the New York City Opera Thrift Store benefit the same night as Target's bash.

One original touch we loved: a grouping of white beanbag seats that guests lounged on in front of a large stretched fabric screen. The event was also a big brand push. Now that the trademark bull's-eye is firmly emblazoned in the mind of consumers as the Target brand, we hear the Minnesota-based retailer now wants the public to associate the color red with Target. Red-themed Target commercials played on more screens throughout the venue, and the look even carried over into the restrooms, where squares of wheatgrass topped with red gerbera daisies (by J. Gordon Design) and Trojan condoms were scattered around the dressing table.

The evening featured a performance by ex-Groove Theory singer Amel Larrieux, and DJs Dee Wiz and Beverly Bond rotated spinning duties throughout the night. And the gift bag--covered with the Target logos, of course--offered a corkscrew from design superstar Michael Graves and a red bull's-eye-branded portable coffee cup.

--Suzanne Ito

Read about Target's Fashion Week media room...

Read about the Target's Townhouse product showcase...

Read about last year's Target Art in the Park party...

Read about the Target's High 5 Teen Tickets to the Arts launch party...

Read about the Target/Mossimo launch party...

Read about Target's benefit for the City Parks Foundation...

Read about Target's fashion show...

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