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NYFW Brand Powers, Activate!

Every September I dream of bumping into Rachel Zoe on a bustling street in TriBeCa and rubbing elbows with Anna Wintour at a post-catwalk cocktail hour during New York Fashion Week (NYFW). Much to my dismay, I’ve never scored an invite to a runway show and my press credentials have grown dusty and outdated. Even though I can’t quite seem to ever make it to the big event, I remain an admirer from afar.

Aside from the return of the billowy, puffy sleeve trend from 2018, one of my 2019 obsessions has been the steady stream of “brand activation” events, featuring creative and sometimes kooky pop-ups to promote products to key influencers. With social media apps, particularly Instagram, bringing us the NYFW world 24/7, brands are smart to showcase their wares alongside the likes of Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty, Prabal Gurung, and Alice + Olivia.

One thing I find special about NYFW brand activation events is the ability of brands to show their wilder side – it’s an opportunity to break out of traditional marketing structures and apply an artistic edge or humorous take on brand identity. It’s more about pleasure, beauty, and the “story” of a brand than business principles and hard-nosed marketing tactics.

Below are a few “brand activations” from this year’s NYFW that really hit the mark:

  • Cheetos House of Flamin’ Hot A runway show and beauty bar featuring Cheetos-inspired fashion designs by social media fans and curated by fashion influencers and stylists. Fans can get “Cheetos-fied” with salon services inspired by Cheetos flavors, including “Cheetah Tail Braids” and “Chester’s Ombre Kiss.”
  • Fresh Produce’s theCURVYCon – A three-day event and runway show dedicated to the plus size community. The goal is to unite curve enthusiasts in one space to chat, shop, and embrace body positivity for women of all shapes and walks of life. Fresh Produce, a women and children’s lifestyle clothing brand, sponsored the event.
  • Schicks The Baldest Party Ever – A party to celebrate the chic quality of a shaved head, Schick is inviting BIP’s (Bald Important People) to experience a club all of their own featuring luxury “red carpet” shaving stations, DJ-curated pro-bald dance mixes, and special appearances by bald influencers.

Take a peek at some more NYFW brand activation here. What are some of your favorite brand activations events from this year’s festivities? Share them with the W5 team in the comments.

Snack foods can be high fashion.
Snacks are finding their fashion groove at NYFW 2019.

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