The men’s wear industry may have had its day in the sun in July, but a couple of designers are not about to let the fall fashion frenzy slip by without being involved.
Perry Ellis, which held a presentation during New York Fashion Week: Men’s, has come up with a novel way to promote its fall collection. On Sept. 27, the brand will launch a social media-skewed initiative called 100 Pieces of Perry.
The company solicited participation earlier this year, asking influencers to sign up to be a part of a social media-based runway show. Once Perry investigated the potential participants’ social media reach, they settled on around 100 of them from New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Mexico City and Toronto. The men chosen are from all walks of life and most have 8 million to 9 million followers.
Perry then distributed 100 pieces of apparel from its fall commercial collection to the men chosen, who will mix the item with pieces from their individual wardrobes to create a unique look. They will promote that look on their social media channels on Sept. 27.
Michael Maccari, Perry Ellis’ creative director, said this is the brand’s way of “getting more involved with the see-now-buy-now movement.”
Matthew Cronin, vice president of marketing for Perry, added: “Our marketing team has taken on the issue of addressing product in-season. We did a presentation during NYFW: Men’s, but developed a two-pronged approach that is squarely in the digital space. It’s centered around social media and engaging our customer base and powered by influencers. We’re leapfrogging the idea of a fashion show and actually putting product in the hands of consumers.”
The product was shipped in a box with instructions on how to participate in the “Instagram fashion show.” They are asked to take a creative photo of themselves wearing the piece “prominently” and promote it on the channel that day to be part of the virtual show.
Maccari said this promotion is intended to “capture a wider audience in a more inclusive way” than with a traditional presentation.
After Sept. 27, Perry Ellis will run ads to solicit consumers to participate as well. Anyone who promotes himself wearing Perry and uses the hashtag #100PiecesOfPerry will be entered to win a gift card from the brand. They can also click through and purchase the pieces directly from the Perry Ellis web site.
But Perry Ellis is not alone in thinking out of the box. Joseph Abboud is also preparing a unique way to bring the runway to life.
On Wednesday, the designer will put 35 to 40 looks from his fall runway show in the windows of his Madison Avenue flagship. Then for the next 30 days, customers can purchase exact replicas of the looks.
“We want to create the show through the store,” he said.
Abboud explained that each piece will be custom designed and the quantities are limited. Only 20 to 25 yards of the fabrics used in the show were produced, meaning that only a handful of garments can be manufactured at the company’s New Bedford, Mass., factory. Each piece will be signed by the designer.
“These are going to be one-of-a-kind pieces,” he said. “And the only place in the world that you can get them is 49th and Madison.”
The suits will average around $1,895 and sport coats will sell for $1,395.
He said that about 40 percent of what was shown on the runway for fall will be sold in the store, “but in more commercial silhouettes with fewer custom details.” But for someone seeking all the bells and whistles, this is his chance.
“The runway is the high-end, esoteric essence of a brand and it doesn’t filter down to retail, unless you do a basics show with navy blazers and gray pants,” he said. “So this is a chance for a guy to experience something uniquely special, not a distilled version.”
He added: “We may sell none or we may sell a zillion, we don’t know. But this is a kind of theater and that’s what sets retail apart today.”