June 13, 2012
German automaker Mercedes-Benz and international high-end online retailer Luisa Via Roma will host the first fashion film festival in Florence June 17 with videos presented by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s luxury-focused content site Nowness.com.
Mercedes, Luisa Via Roma and Nowness are participating together to show a series of five 60-second films created by a new designer showing at each of the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week events in New York, Madrid, Stockholm, Berlin and Beijing. The film event commemorates the fifth anniversary of the Firenze4Ever style event hosted by Luisa Via Roma that invites fashion bloggers and other trendsetters to view pieces from the latest designer collections that are arriving in stores.
“The strategy for all three brands involved remains the same – to demonstrate a commitment to luxury and art,” said Taylor Rains, account coordinator at Rawle Murdy Associates Inc., Charleston, SC. “The film project allows consumers to experience luxury in a unique way.
“By sponsoring the project, Mercedes, Nowness and Luisa Via Roma are showing themselves to be equally unique,” he said. “This sort of inter-industry partnering cultivates that experiential association that luxury brands seek to achieve.”
Mr. Rains is not affiliated with Mercedes, Luisa Via Roma or LVMH, but agreed to comment as an industry expert.
Fashion by film
The fashion film festival hosted by Mercedes and Luisa Via Roma will show film projects created by five emerging designers. Nowness.com will show the director’s cut of each film two days before the festival's commencement.
The designers were chosen from the five capital cities where Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week takes place.
Each 60-second film showcases the main look from the designer’s fall/winter collection and was directed by Lisa Paclet with music by Mimi Xu.
The film series was curated and will be presented by Nowness.com, LVMH’s editorial content site that focuses on fashion, art, cinema, entertainment, culture, music, cuisine, design, travel and luxury.
Fashion film festival trailer
The fifth Firenze4Ever event will be hosted by Luisa Via Roma to coincide with the international collections arriving in the online store. Fashion houses such as Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin and Rick Owens will be in attendance.
Associating with film could help luxury marketers get the attention of ultra-affluent consumers who appreciate the arts.
Brands from all industry sectors have tried out a variety of associations with cinema to reach their target audience.
For example, Italian fashion label Prada presented “A Therapy,” a short film starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ben Kingsley and directed and co-written by French-Polish film director Roman Polanski that demonstrated how the brand’s items are recognizable and coveted by everyone.
The film was and premiered at the 73rd Cannes International Film Festival May 21 before a showing of a restored version of Mr. Polanski's 1979 film called “Tess” (see story).
Meanwhile, French jeweler Chopard used its partnership with the 65th Cannes International Film Festival to push new products, celebrate its legacy and connect with consumers through cultural icons.
For example, Chopard’s tribute to Marilyn Monroe, which includes unpublished photographs and a jewelry collection, debuted at the festival (see story).
There are many aspects to the fashion film festival in Florence – three brands, five videos and the Firenze4Ever event – and it may be hard for true luxury brands LVMH and Mercedes to take the spotlight.
However, it may help them reach new affluent consumers outside of their industries.
“Sponsorship of this type of endeavor helps brands reach their target audience without bombarding consumers with promotional marketing messages,” Mr. Rains said. “It also serves to enmesh luxury brands from various different industries, creating a cohesive luxury lifestyle.
“Each brand involved in the sponsorship is making a distinct and intentional move outside of its traditional identity,” he said. “In doing so, these brands showcase their artistic integrity and commitment to providing consumers with the utmost in quality and craftsmanship.
“Mercedes is not just an automobile brand, for example, but it also touches art, fashion and film.”
Tricia Carr, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York