CHURCH AND STATE OR STATE AND CHURCH?: The line between fashion magazine editorial and advertising? Getting blurrier by the day. Just look at the countless pop-up shops and e-commerce sites that have launched, all with some kind of attachment to a fashion title.
Next up: taking a fashion magazine, combining it with a digital experience, and taking it to the streets of New York. Starting March 1, InStyle will take over a 19-by-42-foot storefront at the bustling corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue and the windows, enabled with touch-screen technology, will show six spring looks. The venture is overseen by the magazine’s publishing side, although the products featured in the window will be inspired by the title’s March issue.
Collages, in a similar vein to Polyvore’s model, can be created and instantly sent as a digital postcard to smartphones. Essentially, these cards provide a detailed shopping list, with special offers and a photo stamp (women can personalize the cards further by having their photos taken at the storefront). Geo-targets from the cards will direct shoppers to a given brand’s closest preferred retailer. It can get as specific as, say, “see Linda on the third floor of Bloomingdale’s, in the northwest corner of the store.”
The results can be shared through a variety of channels, including social networking. “These brands will be in front of 5 million consumers during the month of March,” said publisher Connie Anne Phillips. “And we are giving them directions to exactly where to go, and we are taking you by the hand, to the point of purchase.” This program will also be erected in the Beverly Center in Los Angeles, via a freestanding media pod and live on instyle.com.