NEW FASHION WEEK TV READIES LAUNCH

Will Carry Commercial Spots and Product Placements

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Fashionistas will get their own TV station and advertisers a new means of reaching out to the elite group with the fall launch of Fashion Week TV.
Photo: AP
The runways at Manhattan's Bryant Park during last February's Fashion Week.
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The brainchild of 28-year-old celebrity promoter Elizabeth Mazzocchi, the new targeted media will feature a 24-hour loop of original two-hour programming daily during the twice-annual fashion shows in New York and L.A. The programming will focus on interviews with the fashion folk including designers and photographers as well as coverage of the runway events that take place during Fashion Week.

Top advertisers
Ms. Mazzocchi has lured advertisers including JetBlue Airways Corp., FreshLook Color Contacts, Bombay Sapphire and Redken, among others, with the promise of reaching roughly 20,000 fashion insiders, media and socialite attendees in the posh hotels, restaurants, clubs and stores they frequent. Fashion Week this year will be held Sept. 12-19.

"I look at it as a CNBC for the Fashion Week traveler," said Ms. Mazzocchi, who in researching her idea found that the "very vain" group returned to hotel rooms an average of seven times a day to change outfits.

Deals with roughly 25 hotels, among them Starwood's W chain, Ian Schraeger hotels and New York's Bryant Park Hotel and hip Soho House, will carry Fashion Week TV on their open channels during Fashion Weeks for the next five years. Hotels will also give guests a copy of the Fashion Week TV Guide featuring a program overview, Fashion Week schedule, articles and VIP party information. The programming will be carried in the windows of Saks Fifth Avenue and Sony Style stores around the country and other high-fashion boutiques, restaurants and clubs as well as on www.fashionweek.tv.

Product placement
Many advertisers will run actual 30- or 60-second commercials during the programming, but the real boon, Ms. Mazzochi suggested, is how the brands will be incorporated into programming and featured in a "VIP Lounge." Redken, for example, a major sponsor of New York's 7th on Sixth show managed by IMG, will be featured prominently in an hour-long segment that features interviews with celebrity hairstylists and the president of Redken. Redken plans to use the footage in its salons following Fashion Week.

FreshLook Color Contacts, a division of Novartis' Ciba Vision, will be featured in a 10-year retrospective in which models will vary eye color and a voice-over will tell viewers that the change is brought to you by FreshLook. The VIP lounge set up in the Bryant Park Hotel during the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York will feature JetBlue airplane seats, and flight attendants in JetBlue uniforms wearing FreshLook Color Contacts will serve Bombay Sapphire cocktails.

JetBlue's fashion connection
"The fashion industry itself is a very important target for us, since we fly domestically where that audience wants go to, including South Beach [Miami], New York and L.A.," said Tracy Sandford, director of marketing for JetBlue, whose uniforms were designed by Stan Herman, a founder of 7th on Sixth. Fashion Week TV, she said, offered the nontraditional company a nontraditional way to reach that audience (different from the more staid sponsorship of the event itself) and offered "a brand new multimedia approach to reaching this audience."

After it's all over, Ms. Mazzochi plans to send DVDs of the programming to various would-be advertisers and "thought leaders" to build Fashion Week TV in the future. She said she estimates that the revenue stream from sponsors next year could reach $20 million. She plans to reach into other fashion markets, among them Paris, Milan, London and Sao Paulo.

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