Feels like a growing trend towards including consumers in fashion shows, and using technology to create an experience that both wows and shares, since many of the videos quickly made it virally to YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.
Let's face it, fashion shows have generally been reserved for the elite, not for the consuming public. Target and Ralph Lauren are making what would normally be seen by industry insiders totally a part of the public domain ... to great success.
I write quite a bit about Ralph Lauren in my book ... I believe that the brand is on the cutting edge of experiential and digital marketing, particularly in the fashion industry. But I wanted you all to get a different perspective on this event, so I asked my friend Barbara Newman to comment.
What's your experience, Barbara? Jim.
The experience effect has just hit the fourth dimension, literally, dazzling us with theatrical innovation that is truly unforgettable. Leave it to Ralph Lauren to take the jump - Polo Style - into a new world of flight and fancy. What he has brought to fashion he now brings to the experience of it.
True to his visionary eye, this beloved tastemaker and fashion futurist has always been 10 steps ahead on the runway. Now he leaps with no boundaries into bold new terrain. In honor of ralphlauren.com celebrating its 10th digital year, the “Madison Mansion” was home to innovation and imagination gone wild.
The experience? Stunning. The effect? Mesmerizing. Giant polo ponies gallop toward us in full force, dancing on the edge of a fortress, their power as commanding as the sound of their hooves. No question, they own it. As they should. After all, they are the brand, their iconic image imprinted.
30 foot tall models float on air…out of windows, and onto the descending stairs. The RL signature Legend Bag appears almost two stories tall, and as onlookers stand enraptured, a green leather belt wraps the building and morphs into a watch.
Julie Taymor look out…this is theater taken to new heights. No matter how Ralph evolves the consumer experience, he always stays true to his brand—timeless, elegant, classic.
It begins the moment you walk into the Mansion at 72nd & Madison, where you expect the butler to arrive and politely ask you for your coat. It’s a multi-sensory experience. You can taste the richness as though it were a piece of dark Belgian chocolate. You can smell the wood paneling, and the very touch of his fabrics could make you cry.
When I was a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, I worked backstage at the COTY Awards. My first experience meeting Ralph had quite an effect. He was the brand, embodied. World class in every way. Never mind that he wasn’t in 4-D. He was right there, bigger than life.
I’m not surprised all these years later to find myself again effected. Bravo, Ralph… what bold brand experience will you dream up next?- Barbara Newman