NEW YORK As far as brand-building events go, this one hit the bull's-eye. Target's party at the Chelsea Art Museum celebrating the fifth anniversary of its collaboration with designer Michael Graves was heavy on both products and promotion—not to mention praise for the designer who helped the discount chain take its image from simple and cheap to simply chic.
Items from the 2004 collection, which ranged from a 14-speed blender to a redesigned Yahtzee board game, lined the walls on Wedgewood blue pedestals with the Target bull's-eye. Blue couches and cube-shaped ottomans were paired with stainless steel tables, most of which were decorated with board games that encouraged guests to test their skills at backgammon, chess and checkers. Bar stools had cushions branded with the bull's-eye logo; a few taller steel tables were decked out with patches of wheat grass dotted with big white gerbera daisies. One focal point in a room full of cool stuff was the motorized chandelier—created using 500 Target-branded martini glasses—that rotated.
A separate room continued the bull's-eye and games theme (this time with chess boards mounted on the walls like art) but changed the color scheme from blue to green.
Musters & Company worked closely with Target and Michael Graves to develop the overall look, feel and color palette of the event, with required two-and-a-half months of planning. “The theme of the event was art and the everyday objects. How can you not have fun with that?” said Michael Petrovich, Musters' vice president of operations and production.
In keeping with the theme, caterer Canard used Graves' products to prepare the hors d'oeuvres it served. A panini bar featured savory sandwiches (including grilled vegetables with mozzarella and black olive pesto on ciabatta) grilled on-site with Graves' sleek stainless steel version of a George Foreman grill. Waffles, which served as a base for both warm blueberry compote and smoked salmon, were made with a Graves waffle iron.
John Remington, Target's vice president of events marketing and communication, toasted Graves, who spoke briefly about his partnership with the design-savvy discounter.
—Erika Rasmusson Janes