By  on August 8, 2007

The details of a Bronx, N.Y., boiler-making factory — its metal fixtures, oxidized colors and sense of space — prompted its selection as the unlikely setting for Etienne Aigner's upcoming ads.

The idea was to show Aigner's soft, luxurious accessories, footwear and jewelry in relief against the industrial setting and earthy, metallic color palette of the 10,000-square-foot indoor space at A.L. Eastmond & Sons, said Marc Balet, the shoot's creative director.

The factory, which has completed the boilers for the new Yankee Stadium, was settled on for the $800,000 fall campaign after Balet and his team took Aigner officials to have a look. They liked the view and the price was right: $1,500 for a day's work. "Sometimes a house in Malibu or Beverly Hills can be $10,000 for a day," noted Balet, owner of marketing agency Mixed Business. "You don't get a house for less than $5,000 in L.A., and sometimes you can't even get inside for that much; you're restricted to the [grounds]."

The A.L. Eastmond setting came with its own special cost, though. It prompted the ad shoot's team to do some heavy lifting, forklifting various boiler sections to sit in different parts of the factory set, in a recasting of the space's design. The boilermaker escaped losing a day's work, shifting its own operations typically undertaken there to another section of the 55,000-square-foot facility.

When Julie de Cuyper, marketing manager at Etienne Aigner, visited the Eastmond factory, which she had thought of as a "crazy location," her point of view changed. "You could see how it would all come together — the lines, the colors, the light," she recalled.

Not that it was all smooth sailing. The site was filthy, the weather on the day of the shoot was very hot and plastic sheets needed to be laid out to protect model Olga Maliouk's clothes from being ruined.

In ads to appear in the September edition of Vogue and October issue of In Style, for example, Maliouk poses casually on piles and folds of metal in hues of burnt orange, yellow, celadon and pearlized gray blue, offset by background shades of brown, bronze, gold and amber. An oversize metallic bag and ballerina skimmers accessorize Maliouk's sporty, casual clothes in one shot (for In Style), while in another (Vogue), her classically tailored, double-breasted jacket and slim skirt are accented by a soft, shiny crimson bag with black handles, and chocolate brown, spiky pumps.The campaign, a bid to give Aigner goods an aspirational glow, also will appear in outdoor ads in New York City, including a phone kiosk and bus shelter campaign around Macy's Herald Square, flagship of the brand's biggest customer, and in fall fashion magazines also scheduled to include Elle and W.

Why did Eastmond open his factory as a site for its second ad shoot ever? "Money, money, money," he replied. But, at $1,500 for Aigner, considerably less than the "several hundred thousand dollars" the second-generation owner said he realized in the Yankee boiler deal.

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