Every now and then, a project comes around that truly excites an agency. It may be a one-of-a-kind creative idea, it may be a cross department production. The Lexus Fashion Workshop was just such an undertaking: a unique concept that would require true integration by the agency to create a cohesive program. Let’s start with the idea.
The Lexus CT Hybrid is 90% recyclable (based on ISO 22628 standards, of course). Why not recycle it, we asked. We enlisted four CFDA finalist fashion designers to recycle parts from a dismantled Lexus CT Hybrid into wearable fashion: Eddie Borgo, John Patrick, Moss Lippow, and Alejandro Ingelmo. Sounds simple enough, but let’s explore what it took to get there.
A car prep company spent five days disassembling a Lexus CT and packaging all pieces (over 2,000!) for shipment. It took a man named Gator six days to drive a trailer full of car parts from Los Angeles to New York City. A team in New York spent three days in an air conditioning-less studio warehouse (in an August heat wave) meticulously laying out each piece on the floor to compose a giant array, which was then photographed using a 30 foot tall cherry picker to simulate an aerial photograph. The four designers selected their parts, and then spent the next month creating their individual fashion items, all while a film crew documented the process. Then, it was back to a studio to photograph the final designs on a model. The pieces were then shipped to Miami, where they were put on display in the Vogue Lounge at the Sagamore Hotel, as part of Art Basel. Last but not least, the pieces were auctioned off to benefit the CFDA Vogue Fashion fund. Oh, and Gator drove the trailer truck back to Los Angeles.
The result of this manic production? A 6-page spread in the January 2012 issue of Vogue, exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, and some truly amazing fashion items.
Now came the fun part: cohesive integration. How do you create a seamless communication platform that provides users with a branded entertainment experience? You involve everyone. Media, Strategy, PR, Events, Production, UX, Interactive, Social, Creative, and Legal – there must be true collaboration throughout the agency to create an integrated approach to sharing content. The Lexus Fashion Workshop content can be seen in print, online on a custom microsite, on YouTube, on social brand channels, and at live events. Each placement shared the same voice, the same look and feel, and laddered up to one strategy. It takes a village to raise an idea like this, and in our case, every department had a hand in its creation.
The media has started to take notice as well. In the first few weeks of the content breaking online, we’ve seen millions of media impressions, thousands of video views, and requests coming in from all corners of the globe. Here’s a quick sampling of press coverage: