By  on March 9, 2005

NEW YORK — Bloomingdale’s will celebrate the 21st birthday of Elle in the U.S. with a flurry of events and promotions starting Sept. 8 to benefit the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance.

“In 1984, Bloomingdale’s brought over the first U.S. edition of Elle. It was part of Bloomingdale’s ‘Fete de France’ promotion,” said Carol A. Smith, senior vice president and Elle group publishing director.

After the promotion, an English translation of the French fashion weekly was imported and sold only in Bloomingdale’s for a year, and then Elle broadened its distribution in the U.S., Smith said.

Aside from giving rise to Elle in the U.S., Bloomingdale’s marketing tactic helped inaugurate Elle’s international expansion to 37 editions worldwide, Smith said. “How fitting that we are partnering with this legendary retail brand once again, as the magazine embarks on its milestone birthday celebration,” she added.

The collaboration will include public service announcements, a VIP fund-raiser hosted by Katie Couric at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street, and consumer events at 15 Bloomingdale’s stores around the country offering sales incentives, on-site consultations with Elle stylists, sweepstakes, and special products, including a limited-edition Elle 21 handbag, created by Lambertson Truex. A celebrity “ambassador” for the EIFNCCRA will appear in public service announcements, sporting the handbag. The celebrity has not been revealed. The public service announcements will run in the September and October Elle issues, as well as Bloomingdale’s B Magazine and Hot Book, and select Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. properties.

Elle’s October anniversary issue will have a 24-page fashion and beauty insert, shot by publication director Gilles Bensimon and featuring 21 Elle cover girls through two decades. The issue’s editorial  lineup is not finalized yet.

The campaign, to be unveiled tonight at the 21 Club, will coincide with New York Fashion Week. “The partnership between Bloomingdale’s and Elle is truly one of the most unique marketing and public relations efforts with a fashion magazine that I have ever seen,” said Michael Gould, Bloomingdale’s chairman and chief executive.

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