Marc by Marc Jacobs held a large party that brought New York’s The Misshapes and Theophilus London to Hong Kong on Friday, October 4th. The modern rooftop setting and a select crowd of H.K.’s fashion insiders made the party one of the better events of the year.
Friday’s event, organized by Social Capital, was a winner on multiple levels.
It started with an excellent choice of venue. The Italian restaurant Lupa, located nearly at the foot of the Lan Kwai Fong nightlife area, is a good sized restaurant that offers a dining room in addition to a stylish, outdoor patio space.
The outdoor area, very big for Central, even had room to set up a DJ booth and stage.
We’ve often written about the role of fashion brands as the new patrons of the arts, and Friday was no exception.
While the music was happening outside on the patio, guests indoors were lining up for T-shirts that were being customized by local artists.
Parties vs. in-store events…
Friday’s event was also a sharp reminder of what the city’s fashion events used to be like.
Rather than tepid in-store gatherings, fashion brands used to regularly host late-night parties that brought out interesting crowds and exposed influential locals to music and style from abroad.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, brands have relied almost solely on in-store gatherings which don’t generate the same buzz or establish the same type of connection with consumers.
There are several reasons for this. Hong Kong’s shops are relatively tiny, which means they always get too crowded and too hot during events. Plus the timing, typically around seven in the evening, awkwardly bisects the night, creating a dilema of when to eat dinner. Additionally, getting to the event during the height of rush hour is an added inconvenience that makes the experience even more of a hassle.
By contrast, parties such as Marc Jacob’s Friday night event generate a significant buzz while building a deeper connection with guests. Most importantly, they provide a way to disseminate information and goodwill about the brand via the attendees social networks.
Unlike ads, when the brand makes its way organically into an individual’s feed, it becomes a sort of social-proof that the label is desirable and cool to the person’s friends.