Crate & Barrel Beats Winter Chill With Backyard Garden Party

Instead of a traditional showroom-style media preview, the brand put its spring/summer line to use at an interactive event.

By Beth Kormanik January 8, 2014, 7:15 AM EST

On a chilly New York night, Crate & Barrel hosted a summery garden party to introduce its spring/summer line to journalists.

Photo: Kent Miller Studios

Instead of creating a traditional showroom with vignettes of its new products, Crate & Barrel invited members of the press to interact with products at a backyard garden party. The event introduced the brand's 2014 spring/summer collection, providing a cheery setting on a particularly chilly New York evening in November.

“We wanted to change the strategy to be a more engaging interactive experience,” said Ryan Jordan, creative director at HL: Creative, which produced the event. “It's winter and cold, but we wanted to transport the guest to a spring and summer environment.”

About 45 guests attended the private dinner at the Park, a Chelsea restaurant with a 4,000-square-foot garden that is covered and heated during the winter. Jordan brought in sod and greenery as well as Crate & Barrel products such as outdoor furniture, tableware, and accessories to stage the scene.

The evening began with passed hors d'oeuvres and cocktails such as spiked lemonade and Arnold Palmers. The family-style dinner included several salads and pulled pork sliders. A three-tired platter held summery desserts such as mixed berries, mint, and lavender shortbread. The trays, plates, and dinnerware all came from the brand's new line.

“For Crate & Barrel, it's about the art of dining,” Jordan said. “We wanted everything to feel natural and authentic.”

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