Sponsored Lounges Offer Swag and Space to Chill

By Erin Letson September 8, 2008, 5:04 PM EDT

The Luxury Lounge located at Lobby

Photo: BizBash

Sponsored lounges have popped up in the Bloor-Yorkville area to give celebrities and media a place to relax, get primped, and—of course—pick up swag during the Toronto International Film Festival. Here's a look at a few of the lounges around town.

Now in its third year, Wardrobe Lounge is a promotional platform for Canadian designers such as Greta Constantine and Nada Design as well as bigger brands like London Fog. Produced by Vision|Co. and fashion consultant Nicholas Mellamphy, the lounge offers by-appointment-only services to celebrities and stylists who want to borrow garments, handbags, and jewelry for the festival. This year's lounge is located in the Mandell Entertainment Group offices above Lobby and painted purple to continue the colour scheme of the downstairs Luxury Lounge. Blown-up covers of Fashion magazine, a returning sponsor, also furnish the upstairs space.

Created by Vision|Co. as an extension of the Wardrobe Lounge, Luxury Lounge in Lobby is a new addition to this year's festival. Its purpose, says Suzanne Cohon of ASC PR, is to provide a quiet place for celebrity cocktails, film studio dinners, media interviews, and after-parties. To create a V.I.P. (and branded) atmosphere, Vision|Co. spruced up the nightclub with a red carpet, tent lounge (with a hidden entrance in the back of the club), and large purple-and-white flower arrangements. The space—open until September 18—will host several events throughout the festival and afterward, including the pre-party for Management, starring Jennifer Aniston, which premiered Sunday. Perrier-Jouet champagne and Motorola, whose phones were placed under glass-topped tables, are among the brands featured.

The NKPR-produced IT Lounge at the Windsor Arms Hotel arguably offers the biggest swag tow in town. It showcases a combination of big brands such as Olay and Fila and smaller Canadian labels like Cookie and Joe kids' clothing. This year, the gifting suite repeated its support for Big Brothers/Big Sisters by giving celebrity visitors the option to donate their swag to the nonprofit organization. (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie donated last year.) The newly added Grand & Toy media centre—housed in a 396-square-foot storage space in the hotel—includes eight computer workstations, a lounge with a Sony gaming console, and a snack station with cupcakes and candy.

ETalk is making sure it gets extra notice this year with posters and sponsored areas all over the city. The eTalk- and Fashion Television-sponsored Dior Backstage Beauty Lounge, which opened Thursday, is on the ground floor the Park Hyatt Hotel. Passersby can stop in for mini-makeovers with featured Dior products.

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