The two ads — one for fashion and the other for the debut “Hotel du Cobb” home line — will break in the winter issue of Oprah Winfrey’s O Quarterly. The magazine, which hits newsstands Tuesday. A reversible, faux fur, three-quarters-length, quilted jacket with faux fox trim and a removable hood is the focus of the fashion ad, which was shot in Basso’s Long Island City design studio. In addition to faux fur outerwear, the Dennis by Dennis Basso label offers a wide range of ready-to-wear.
Affordable luxury is how the designer sizes up the Dennis by Dennis Basso fashion brand that he sells via QVC. “What we try to do is translate the runway collection to one for QVC that is at a price point that averages from $50 to $200 — at the max,” said Basso, adding that he often features a QVC item in his runway shows that blend in well.
Guests at his New York Fashion Week shows would only be tipped off by checking the show notes. While QVC has a sundry of designers on-air now, Basso considers himself to be one of the pioneers there. “Now I am the first person in the 35-year history to run an ad in a fashionable magazine with a QR code that sends the customer directly to the retailer and no other retailer. There might have been some fashionable brands at QVC that [ran ads] that said available at QVC, Kohl’s, Nordstrom or whatever,” he said.
Describing Basso as a longtime veteran with 28 years of selling apparel on QVC and 10 years plus on the home side, Rachel Ungaro, vice president of apparel for QVC and HSN, said he was the first QVC designer to feature a sampling of QVC designs on the runway with his signature collection, “He’s unique. He’s got his very high-end real fur and down line that he sells on Madison Avenue in New York. And we like to say that he makes unique glamour affordable for customers on QVC. This [campaign] will really help to get his brand out there. Obviously, being in O magazine and having all those eyeballs on his brand and the product that he is offering is very exciting.”
Ungaro declined to discuss sales projections. Last year, QVC and HSN generated $11.5 billion in revenue. Repeat and reactivated customers accounted for 92 percent of QVC’s global shipped sales for fiscal year 2020.
Basso’s manufacturing partner for the QVC line, MDL Ltd., supported the cost of the ad with the designer. Asked about the investment, Basso described it as “sizable and under six figures.” Both ads will have some prime real estate in the front-of-the-book opposite the masthead and the home ad will be on the next page near Winfrey’s letter. The name Hotel Du Cobb is a riff on the nickname for Basso’s and his husband’s house in Water Mill, N.Y. “Over the years, close friends have come to our house and have said, ‘The service here — everything — is perfect just like the Hotel du Cap[-Eden-Roc] in the south of France,’” he said. “We used that as a representation. That is why we filmed it at our house, the Hotel du Cobb.”
The home ad also shows off a faux fur blanket that will first be featured on QVC on Nov. 9. The new home decor has more elevated styles than the existing Dennis Basso home line, which will continue to be sold. An assortment of table linens, other throws and blankets, decorative pillows and tabletop items inspired by Basso’s world travels will be offered. QVC’s existing Dennis Basso home line will continue. QVC is also planning to develop a documentary about Basso, the designer said.
The fashion design in the other ad will go live Thanksgiving and will be “Today’s Special Value.” Photographer Masato Onoda shot both ads, Julien Farel styled the models’ hair and makeup was done by Buffy Hernandez. “I just thought it was a wonderful time to bring awareness to a customer, who might not be a QVC shopper, but knows Dennis Basso. A lot of people are watching QVC right now. You can shop on QVC with an app on your phone,” the designer said.
After going through the pandemic in 2020 and coming back this year, consumers’ shopping habits have changed, Ungaro said. “I’m happy to say apparel us back. She’s shopping again. She’s interested in fashion. She wants to refresh her wardrobe. Winter is coming. It’s going to get cold in the majority of the United States. With Dennis’ outerwear business, we’re looking forward to offering lots to offer the customer and lots to choose from, as she continues to refresh her wardrobe. We’re excited not only about Dennis’ upcoming event with Oprah, but in general. The customer is coming back to buying more fashion for herself and not necessarily just what she was buying during the pandemic,” Ungaro said.