Champagne wishes and caviar dreams came true for a group of influencers Thursday night at The Plaza Hotel.
The group of women — some 15 of them, in town from nine international markets — had abandoned fashion week duties to spend the evening in the hotel’s three-bedroom Royal Suite. The hosts were Marc Jacobs and Coty Inc. — the designer, who was not present, and his fragrance licensee had invited the group of Instagram influencers and bloggers to an over-the-top, slumber-party-style event to promote his newest fragrance, Eau So Decadent.
From around 3:00 p.m. to midnight, attendees like Cara Santana (808,000 Instagram followers), Shea Marie of @PeaceLoveShea (1.1 million followers) and Sara Escuerdo (932,000 followers) were given the five-star sleepover treatment. It started with full hair and makeup using Marc Jacobs Beauty products, custom silk robes and slips designed by Jacobs for the event and access to accessories from the designer’s runway archive — fur stoles and headscarves. Then the activities began — a scavenger hunt throughout the Plaza capped off with Champagne cocktails at the hotel bar, dinner on the terrace of a corner penthouse suite and near midnight, karaoke hosted by a drag queen back in the Royal Suite where an overloaded dessert table had been set up (there were many photographs taken, but not much being eaten.)
It used to be that brands would fly in magazine beauty editors from all over the world to far-flung locations to celebrate the launch of a fragrance or beauty product, complete with all-expenses-paid shopping sprees. But it seems that strategy is shifting to favor influencers who can promote the product and the elaborate event directly and immediately to their social media followings — the only beauty editor in attendance at the Eau So Decadent event, for instance, has an Instagram following herself of 35,000.
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Renaud Salmon vice president of marketing for Marc Jacobs Fragrances at Coty Luxury, called the party at the Plaza a “new approach.”
“We really wanted to create the right context for [the influencers] to interact with each other and experience the moment, not to make something staged or forced, but create a context, the right mood and atmosphere that reflects [Eau So Decadent],“ said Salmon. “We wanted to create the right environment to generate authentic content — and once that content is created, making sure that it would really be shared on social media and feed the conversation online. That was the intention.”
And share they did, using the hashtag #eausodecadent to post professional photos that were being airdropped to them in real-time.
Caroline Vreeland, a musician, model and actress who has about 250,000 Instagram followers (she’s also the great-grandaughter of Diana Vreeland), spent most of the after-dinner hour vamping for the camera in an impromptu photo shoot. “A lot of times with brands you feel forced to do the posting and it’s stressful to force something that’s not cute, but put me up against this [crown molding] or this chandelier and pure art is made,” she said, pointing to various decor in The Royal Suite.
Shortly before drag queen karaoke commenced, many of the influencers commented on how pleased they were with the range of entertainment provided throughout the evening. “It was so much fun — usually it’s just a dinner or a cocktail party, and we’re getting a little bored of that,” said Linda Tol, a Dutch blogger.
Between outtakes, Vreeland had one suggestion for how the night could have gone.
“I wish Gucci Mane was performing here — then it would be like I died and went to heaven.”