Mass-market firms flaunt their wares at NY Fashion Week
Outside the runways where designers are unveiling fashions in New York, Mercedes-Benz is showcasing its pricey gull-wing supercar next to Maybelline's display of inexpensive lip gloss in an effort by both high-end and mass-market companies to raise their profiles and boost consumer following.
New York Fashion Week, a twice-yearly event that draws thousands of fashion insiders and fans, has a reputation for glamour, exclusivity and luxury. Yet it is increasingly attracting sponsors such as Maybelline that sell modestly priced goods.
Even Tupperware, maker of commonplace kitchen containers, joined this season to sponsor one of the designers, who have struggled to find buyers in the US recession.
A runway show at Fashion Week can cost $100,000 (€75,000) for a designer, who probably has been facing bleak retail sales. Corporate sponsors can help pay for the shows while using the opportunity to advertise their products.
"This process, through the great recession, has shown us that the affluent are very able to look at affordable products and look at them with a different eye now," said Candace Corlett, president of WSL Strategic Retail, a marketing consulting company.
"It's all converging to say, 'Sure, Maybelline can sponsor Fashion Week. Why not?'" she said.