Ruia Shoe Boutique Opening in New York- Fashion PR Events
In the Fashion industry it’s not just about the brand, it’s about the total image that brand portrays. This is New York after all, so every Fashion Public Relations team knows that in the city that never sleeps, launch events = image!
Let’s start with the important details first – the party of course. At our party, the place was packed with the top industry darlings: a few stylists, models, and some of our favorite editors. Gasps of excitement, happy giggles, and the faint cling of cocktail glasses are heard over the perfect pop-techno mix the DJ is cranking out in the corner. Every turn provides a new dazzling feast for the eyes. Swarovski crystals here, metallic cutouts there, suede for days. Almost every guest has a paw on one of Ruia’s gorgeous European designed shoes.
However, it’s not all cocktails and calfskin. There is a real method to making everything appear to be a walk in the park- and it begins with the invitation. It’s the perfect starting point to make an impact on your guests and get them excited to attend the party. For our event we were able to gift certain members of the press with a pair of designer shoes. Just one shoe was sent and they were expected to come to the event to pick up the matching one – ahh how lucky those editors are!
Two important factors come in to play with the invites. First, and most importantly, you have to wow your audience in a snap. Who wouldn’t be intrigued by the arrival of one pristine pump? The invitation is one of the few areas of any type of event you are allowed to go nuts. Think outside the box and you will undoubtedly receive immense praise in the long run.
It was also very important that we only sent out one shoe per person. If the event alone is not reason enough for someone to take time out of their busy schedule, create a new reason! And what is the most beautiful shoe in the world without its matching pair? This is the only way you will get attention from top industry leaders who get stacks of invitations each day.
Always send out invitations around two weeks prior to the event so as to give everyone enough time to check their schedule, but not too much time they forget about it. For larger events it’s appropriate to send “save the date” notices a month or two before the actual soirée.
Now that you have the location and the invites all taken care of – it’s time to work on the minor details. Will you need a caterer, bartender, cocktail sponsors, waiters? Because the Ruia opening was a smaller, more exclusive event, we only needed to find a cocktail sponsor (thanks again Tequila Avion!) and order a few plates of hors d’oeuvres.
Next, you need to consider what you will be putting in your gift bags as guests and members of the press leave the event. One thing that should always be in a gift bag for the Media is a press-kit. For any Fashion related event this will include information about the designer, a line sheet of their current collection, a brief description of their inspiration, and ways to contact the PR company representing this client. Anything else you add to your gift bags is just for fun and can be given to everyone at the party.
Call up local spas, chocolatiers, make-up companies, even the designer themselves may choose to add little extra something. Many companies are willing to collaborate on events and therefore give product samples that they want tastemakers and press to be exposed to.
On the day of the event, start putting gift bags together and organize everything before guests arrive. If you are giving out different gift bags to certain guests make sure that each are clearly separated and the person at the door knows who is supposed to get what.
Make sure to get to the event three hours prior to the guests arrival time. This way you can supervise food setup, drinks, gift bags, etc. This also gives you time to double check the guest list and go over last minute RSVPs with whoever will be checking everyone in. It may sound like enough time to get everything done, but trust us, there’s always something else that needs extra attention before the party starts. Everyone is always scrambling in before the big event begins – stuffing gift bags, adding people to the list, trying to locate the very late photographer. The key is to make it appear effortless to all of your guests!
Once everything is in place, it’s time to relax and wait for the guests to arrive. Whether you’re just hosting the party, or working the event, you need to remember to act accordingly. Having a cocktail or two once everyone has arrived and all the kinks have been worked out is fine, but getting hammered before any of the guests is a big no-no! Make sure to talk to everyone while you’re there; show them around, introduce them to the right people. Don’t forget to take a moment to sit back and see what an amazing event you’ve pulled off.
One important thing to remember is to follow up with guests after the party. It might be appropriate to send hand written thank you cards to your guests, or in the case of a Fashion PR event, call your contacts. Make sure they were able to get the all the info. they needed at the party. Offer to send them high RES images, a PDF of the press release, anything to make sure your client gets featured in that publication. After everything is secured- it’s time to focus on what’s next!