American Marketer

Events / Causes

Michael Kors invites email list to Memorial Day party

May 23, 2012


Fashion label Michael Kors invited its email subscribers to a party in the Hamptons in New York during the United States Memorial Day holiday weekend.

The brand invited consumers on its email list to two simultaneous events with Niche Media’s Hamptons magazine that will take place in Southampton and East Hampton. Those who cannot attend are invited to follow the event live on Twitter.

“When people get to live and eat the brand in an authentic way, they build an affinity for what they have always loved and have the opportunity to interact where it becomes a part of their personal lifestyle,” said Kimmie Smith, editor in chief of Kitten Lounge, New York.

“Memorial Day weekend is the kickoff to the summer,” she said. “By bringing people to the Hamptons, a guest is able to experience the Michael Kors lifestyle in every way and to watch others enjoy it as well.”

Ms. Smith is not affiliated with Michael Kors, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.

Michael Kors was unable to comment before press deadline.

Michael Kors sent an email to its database May 21 with subject line, “Kick Off Memorial Day Weekend in the Hamptons.”

The email told consumers to join Michael Kors and Hamptons magazine at one of two events May 26 from 3-5 p.m. Eastern Time. Hamptons magazine editor in chief Samantha Yanks and the fashion team will be in attendance.

The two event locations are in South Hampton at 30 Main Street and East Hampton at 19 Newton Lane.

Michael Kors email

Consumers who cannot attend in-person are told to follow the events on Twitter with the #MKHamptons hashtag. Michael Kors will be tweeting from its @MichaelKors handle while Hamptons magazine will update readers from @HamptonsMag.

Meanwhile, the email links to the label’s ecommerce site. It also contains social media buttons.

Michael Kors ecommerce site

Michael Kors has not announced of what the Memorial Day weekend events will consist. As of press deadline, the brand did not promote the events through any additional channels.

“I think people will want to go to these events for a number of reasons such as an interest in the brand, to embrace the lifestyle and the fact that people want to kick off their summer experience," Ms. Smith said.

"Demographically speaking, you will have a wide age group from those that are in their 20s to Baby Boomers," she said. "It will be a great cross-sectional group of influencers enjoying themselves."

Holiday in the Hamptons
By partnering with a local luxury magazine, it seems that Michael Kors is cross-promoting its brand with Hamptons magazine’s affluent readers.

In addition, the label might hope to attract wealthy travelers who vacation in the Hamptons, which is a popular weekend or second-home destination for people who live in New York.

Many British brands associate with prominent lifestyle events to attract ultra-affluent consumers and are using email to spread the word.

For example, Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London, created the illusion of exclusivity for the brand through a sponsorship of a Mint Polo in the Park tournament team and by playing host to an invitation-only preview event. The event was marketed via an exclusive email invitation (see story).

In addition, London-based home goods retailer Fortnum & Mason used its long-term commitment to the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show, an event attended by the British Queen, to build brand awareness and align its values with those of affluent attendees.

The retailer sent out an email that positions the Flower Show as a place for businesses to bring clients as well as for individuals to enjoy (see story).

Like these brands, it seems that Michael Kors is working on its affluent lifestyle association. This could be a move to offset the rising popularity of the brand among mainstream consumers that is due to Mr. Kors’ appearance on fashion competition reality show Project Runway.

Meanwhile, if the brand sent the invitation to all of its subscribers, it is hard to tell what type of consumer the event will attract.

“An email invitation is a great way to share information quickly, but it does lose its intimate nature and makes you wonder how massive the event will be,” Ms. Smith said. “This could be off-putting to those that believe that they are true fans of the brand and would appreciate something a little more intimate.”

Final Take
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York