NEW YORK — Get ready for the DKNY sequel.
Following on the heels of the company’s short film, “New York Stories,” that debuted last fall, comes “Road Stories,” a 12-minute romp across the country that takes up where the first movie left off.
Instead of New York skylines, the backdrop is funky roadside motels, diners, gas stations and lush desert landscapes. Angela Lindvall reprises her role as the actress, only this time she’s left her boyfriend to pursue her acting career. She meets Kate, played by Scarlett Chorvat, a fictional New York Magazine reporter, who’s in pursuit of a story on the singer/songwriter Waylon Payne. Angela’s brother happens to be in his band, Kate has a car, and the two head west. On the way, they encounter colorful people, such as Sylvia Miles, Johnny Messner and of course, Waylon Payne.
The trip out West offers an excuse for all the female and male characters to wear tons of DKNY clothing.
“Ever since I’ve been doing advertising, I’ve always tried to find the story behind it,” said Donna Karan, in a telephone interview. “I never want it to be about the clothes. It’s the lifestyle of that person. It’s the person on the go.”
Furthermore, she added, “It’s about feeling free. That’s what the collection is about — freedom, American freedom. It’s a salute to America, coast to coast.”
Conceived and executed by Laird + Partners, Karan’s ad agency, and produced by Cyclops Productions, the script was written by Suzanne Weinert, Matthew Weinstein and Katya Bankowsky. The film was directed by Stephen Sebring.
The company will show the movie at the Bryant Park Hotel screening room on Feb. 8. It also has created branded popcorn bags and water bottles bearing the images. Additional consumer screenings are planned for Milan, London, Japan and South Korea. The film can also be viewed on dkny.com, as well as in all DKNY freestanding and department store boutiques.
According to Trey Laird, president of Laird + Partners, “DKNY’s web site last season had an enormous response with hundreds of thousands of hits inquiring about the clothes that were seen in the movie and where to buy them. This season, all clothes from the movie will be on the web site, and it will tell you which stores have which styles.”
Additionally, some 20,000 DVDs are being produced as consumer giveaways. The DVD will showcase the image book insert, movie and spring 2004 runway show, as well as music by Waylon Payne, a travel guide and cast biographies.
Fashion ads that reflect the look and feel of the film will break in March in Vogue, Vanity Fair, W (WWD’s sister magazine, which is owned by Fairchild Publications, also a subsidiary of Advance Publications, like Vogue parent Condé Nast), The New York Times Magazine, In Style, Elle, Another, German Vogue, French Vogue and Spanish Vogue. Movie posters will run in February, and the ads will appear on buses in March.
DKNY plans to send out 60,000 runway mailers in the U.S. and the U.K. to top customers on Jan. 30, and 22,000 will be used in-store both in the U.S. and abroad. DKNY has also produced a 36-page, 11-by-15-inch image book, of which 40,000 units will be sent to its customer base and displayed at all its retail locations.
“It [the film] is a great marketing tool for us to go directly to the consumer,” said Patti Cohen, executive vice president of global marketing and communications for Donna Karan International. “We’ll do movie screenings and cocktail parties, and it’s a way to bring people into the stores.”