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CHICAGO West Town's Skylight Studios became the Don Julio Loft from July 7 to 9. Presented by CS Magazine, the three-day promotion was intended to “kick off the summer for Chicago tastemakers in a lively, creative way,” said the tequila's New York-based brand manager, Alefyiah Sarma. “The venue provided a location for art and fashion enthusiasts to converge while enjoying ultra-premium Don Julio cocktails and learning more about the brand.”
Don Julio's parent company, Diageo, “has been a longtime partner of [CS parent company] Modern Luxury. We work with their brands on a variety of events,” said Samantha Saifer, the publication's director of marketing. For this particular event, ”CS's goal was to create brand awareness for Don Julio, but we also wanted to provide an experience for our readers. With high-impact events like the national Stoli Hotel initiative in mind, we thought up the Don Julio loft, a three-day Don Julio experience that went beyond your typical two-hour cocktail party.”
Saifer and her team strove to create an eclectic series of happenings. “Don Julio decided to work with CS because they know that our readers are exactly in line with their target demographic,“ she said. “So CS set out to make each night a little different, to bring in every type of audience the magazine has.”
On Wednesday night, the loft hosted a kickoff party for 250 members of the media. The reception offered restaurant tasting stations, a photo booth where guests could pose with Pancho Villa-style mustaches, and live painting by local artists. A private Mexican dinner for 60 local celebrities and CS clients took place on Thursday night. Friday night, the so-called grand finale drew more than 500 guests and offered a runway fashion show and a concert from Shiny Toy Guns.
Saifer admitted that coordinating so many moving pieces “wasn't a walk in the park. There was absolutely nothing that was easy logistically. Just ask Sound Investment, Entertaining Company, and Event Creative. I think the four of us were on the phone every hour of the day trying to figure out how to make it all work.”
The event's execution involved some unusual tasks for Saifer, who hand-delivered tequila bottles to the studio's residential neighbors. “I warned them that the noise level may be quite high on Friday night,” she said.
In the end, Saifer said that the hard work, myriad conference calls, and neighborly conduct paid off. “What was really unique about the event was the mix,” she said. There was “great food, restaurants, artists, music by live DJs, a live fashion show, and a rock-star concert. It was a great synergy of people. CS ended up making new relationships, and so did Don Julio.”