As a former product placement executive for an L.A. based entertainment PR firm, Matt Meyerson is launching a new fashion trade event that will bring some of the hottest up-and-coming lines to New York for an all-day showcase. Matt has created Expose NY, to connect top-tier designers, stylists, and fashion editors in hopes to allow young brands, as well as established ones, the opportunity to premiere their Holiday into Spring collections to the people deciding what goes in the magazines, on the celebrities and in film/TV shows.
I had an opportunity to speak to Matt about his new cutting edge fashion PR brainchild:
SCS: What is Expose NY?
MM: Expose NY is the first in a series of exclusive private fashion showcases created to bring the hottest boutique collections to top editors, stylists and fashion writers. The first Expose will take place in New York, right before Fashion Week, since that is the center of fashion in the States. In 2009 there will be two Expose NY’s (Spring and Fall) and one in LA (Summer) which will be a tad more celebrity centric.
SCS: How is Expose NY different from events like Fashion Week or the big NYC tradeshows?
MM: Fashion Week is a place for brands to show the worldwide fashion community their tremendous collections on the runway. These productions are expensive and often the return on investment does not justify the expense.
Tradeshows are all about commerce and are for buyers. Editors can attend, but often they (or their publications) are charged to get inside unless they are trade press.
Expose is about allowing smaller brands that are hot, but don’t necessarily have deep pockets for marketing, to capture some face time with the people deciding what goes in the magazines and on the celebrities. There are no buyers here, no runways. It is all about the business of exposure.
SCS: How are brands chosen? What are you looking for?
MM: Brands submit an informational application online or by email. If it is a brand that we know is hot and they want to do the event, the application process usually stops there. However, if it is a new line or one we have yet to hear of they have to submit linesheets, samples and account listings. Once we get everything, Expose consults on a small panel of stylists and editors that we have employed who give the line a “yes” or “no” in terms of interest level. It sounds a bit harsh but we want to make sure all showcasing lines are press worthy.
We are looking for lines that are “best in category” whether it be ready-to-wear, couture, accessories, swim, denim, shoes, mens, etc. We want lines that are in the right stores and are somewhat already on the radar of the media. We want to expose brands to people who haven’t gotten to work with them yet but we want lines that will draw in the editors and stylists. We have to make sure these people want to come and view our collections to ensure the event is a success.
SCS: How will these brands benefit?
MM: Brands will have a chance to interact with the guests and get some face time with them, which is invaluable. Though Expose NY is NOT a gifting suite, gifting is allowed. Often times, the proof is in the pudding. If you have the best fitting denim and Editor X hasn’t heard of you and tries on your jeans and loves them, 9 times out of 10 they will get you press hits.
Expose is about opening up my relationships (I spent the last 3 ½ years running the product placement division at a large entertainment PR firm where my niche was fashion) to those who don’t necessarily have the resources to establish the contacts that are crucial to making a brand successful.
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On top of the “day of” attendees, brands will get follow up from Expose invitees who weren’t able to attend or are in our database and aren’t in NY. It almost like getting access to hundreds of stylemakers on top of the benefits of being a part of Expose.
SCS: You claim EXPOSE NY is like an editor day on steroids. How so? Explain.
MM: I have attended many editor days and they are usually a great success. However with Expose, due to the number of standout brands (10-15) we plan to showcase in different categories we will have something for everyone. Editors will be excited to see lines they know and find out about ones they may not. We currently have brands interested in showcasing from Brazil, Canada, Europe and Australia. There is some amazing fashion out there dying to make the scene in the USA. It’s my hope to create a non-denominational (PR firms, Showrooms, independents are all welcome to showcase) environment where lines will meet the best in the business.
On top of brands being screened, attendees will also have to apply for credentials. We have our list of press and stylists that will be formally invited but we have been getting sign ups through the website. We check up on each person requesting to attend. If you aren’t a top tier stylist or editor/writer from a credible outlet (TV, print, web, celebrity, freelance) we won’t be able to extend an invite. This is to assure our brands that all guests attending are important to the expansion and exposure of their lines.
Expose NY is bare bones, no frills, down to business brand showcasing. There will be no manicures or 15 minute massages or mini facials. The brands are the only stars of this show and we want the editors/stylists focused on seeing great new product. We will create a lounge atmosphere (people do like to come and hang out at these events…and yes there will be a full bar) but we want the showcase to be conducive to brands getting as much face time as possible with the guests.
SCS: What brands are already slated for your first show?
MM: We only launched last week. The first two sign ups were Le Doux Swimwear (perhaps the most covered swimline in 2007 when Cameron Diaz was shot in a few of their bikinis) and a great shoe line out of Canada called Modern Vintage. Currently, in our second week, we have about 4-6 brands we are speaking with. We have lots of time and don’t want to rush in our selection process since we have limited space. I am excited to see everyone in NY and can’t wait to get my final roster of showcasers.
Check out expose-ny.com for updates.
– Lauren Dimet Waters