TORONTO For this year's It Lounge during the Toronto International Film Festival, NKPR moved the firm's popular celebrity gifting suite out of Yorkville and set up shop in the company's new office space—within walking distance of the festival's new headquarters at TIFF Bell Lightbox. “We always knew when we moved into the new space that we would do the lounge here. We thought it would be in 2011,” said NKPR president Natasha Koifman, who decided to switch locations following a trip to Los Angeles this summer. “The talent and the publicists were all talking about the [festival's move to the downtown core].”
Koifman, who is still hosting the firm's media centre at the Windsor Arms, called on Yanic Simard of the Toronto Interior Design Group to transform the firm's Adelaide Street offices. The pair emptied the space, removing the existing furniture and lighting (which is being stored in a rented suite on the building's sixth floor), and brought in designer furnishings and light fixtures to create a lounge with unique brand displays for the likes of Fila and RW&Co.
“The Fila space is normally our boardroom, and the RW&Co. room is my office,” Koifman said. “If you look at the office, it's very clean and modern, yet accessible. I wanted that for the lounge, as well. I wanted to create an ultimate pop-up experience, so that every brand had the opportunity so showcase themselves.”
Simard spent three days transforming the space. He draped the office walls with white curtains and created nooks for each of the participating brands. He brought in black velvet sofas from Sunpan Imports, carpeting from W Studio, and light fixtures from Artemide. “You have to bring in cool pieces for a pop-up installation,” Simard said. “For Fila, we created a mix of old and new because they're celebrating the brand's 100th anniversary in 2011. I wanted to give it a soul.”
When it comes to selecting brands for the lounge, Koifman said social consciousness is a factor. “We were one of the first lounges to have a charitable component,” she said. This year participating brands are making contributions to Artists for Peace and Justice, a charity—founded by writer and director Paul Haggis—dedicated to improving the lives of children in Haiti.
Koifman also wanted to choose accessible brands for the lounge. “It wasn't about indulgence. It was about key brands that consumers could have access to,” she said. NKPR is offering daily online giveaways for the duration of the festival. “We wanted to get the public involved as well,” said Koifman, who is also spearheading a Twitter campaign to raise funds for Artists for Peace and Justice.
Participating brands included Andrea Professionals, Ardell Lashes, Stila Cosmetics, Morrocanoil, Esprit, Sharpie, Goody, Dagmar Jewellery, Kobo eReader, Diane Lai skin care, Fiji Water, and Baker Street.