While most of the country was going about their business, New York City was buzzing with action from New York Fashion Week (NYFW). A week of runway shows, parties, promotions and sore feet mark this exciting time for the fashion industry and fashionistas. Although the relevance of fashion week has changed with the rise of direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands and the immediacy of the internet, NYFW remains an important promotional tool for brands that need to be seen by magazine editors and retailers. This year, many fashion marketers deployed strategic partnerships and innovative activations to make their brands standout.
KFC X Crocs For A Unique Shoe Experience
KFC continues to go full-on with wacky campaigns and merchandise, and their latest partnership with Crocs exemplifies KFC’s no-holds-barred reputation. Once considered shoes for lawn-mowing dads and moms who’d given up, Crocs have seen a surge in popularity lately, especially with VSCO girls and Ariana Grande, and now they come adorned with fried chicken.
According to Marketing Dive, the new shoe is “An ‘avant-garde’ Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs Bucket Clog with high platform heels that are based on KFC's meal buckets, and a more standard Classic Clog.” The high-fashion shoes even come with Jibbitz, the interchangeable decorations for Crocs, that look – and smell – like actual pieces of fried chicken.
Crocs has previously collaborated with high fashion brand Balenciaga and rapper Post Malone, and KFC with Japanese designer Nigo on high-end merchandise, so the partnership isn’t the first unique match up for either brand. A promotional video for the NYFW launch featured influencer MLMA, who has more than 1.2 million followers on Instagram. The KFC Crocs will be available, minus the platforms, for non-fashionistas in the spring.
Klarna Continues Its Move Into The U.S Market With Experiential Retailing Events
Klarna, a Swedish banking conglomerate with a huge customer base in Europe, has been making moves in the U.S, particularly with their pay later platform. At this year’s NYFW, Klarna partnered with STYLE360 to host several fashion events that allowed shoppers to make purchases in real time.
According to the press release from Klarna STYLE360 about the events, “This year’s event allows guests to shop designer collections in real time using Klarna’s buy now, pay later shopping service. Klarna will host a pop-up store where attendees can shop straight from the presentations to get the latest looks, as well as other seasonal collection staples, on-site.” The Klarna STYLE360 events were a win for designers and consumers and an opportunity for Klarna to connect with fashion brands. Since moving into the U.S. market, Klarna has attracted more than 3,000 retail partnerships who are adopting Klarna payment options and participation at NYFW is a chance to grow Klarna’s business.
Visa Empowers Women Through Sports And Fashion At NYFW
In 2018, Visa became the “official payment technology partner” of NYFW after four seasons as a sponsor. At the time, Mary Ann Reilly, Visa SVP of North American Marketing, said “New York Fashion Week is a perfect venue to showcase the latest in payments to an engaged Millennial audience at the cutting edge of the retail industry.” In 2020, Visa expanded their footprint at NYFW to include messaging and events about empowering women through sports. Fresh off of Super Bowl activations and prepping for the summer Olympics in Tokyo, Visa felt the connection between women, sports and fashions was a “no brainer.”
The Visa Everywhere Pop-Up Shop featured sports gear from women-founded companies and brand ambassadors across sports and fashion spoke on Visa-sponsored panels. And, for the first time, Visa brought its Visa Everywhere Initiative to NYFW. The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a worldwide program that allows startups to pitch ideas solving payment problems in retail.
According to Adweek, “The Fashion Week edition of the program tasked five women entrepreneurs with pitching retail technology ideas to a panel of female judges including Reilly, Swaay Media founder and CEO Iman Oubou and The Helm CEO Lindsey Taylor Wood. The event awarded $25,000 to Eon, a sustainability-focused startup run by CEO Natasha Franck, who pitched an idea for making the products that consumers purchase trackable after point of sale.”
For big events, like the Super Bowl, the Oscars and NYFW, brands have the opportunity to try big ideas, get in front of new consumers and optimize campaign launches for future opportunities and growth.
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