What’s a good publicity stunt without a stable of pretty women? Apparently even Y Combinator startups fall prey to that age-old logic. DNAInfo reports that Shoptiques, a fashion marketplace for local boutiques, has planned an elaborate jaunt around Manhattan today to dole out free hugs in exchange for some brand recognition. And judging from their Facebook page, looks like they’ll also have a ton of hot pink swag in tow.
Starting at 11 a.m., five models will begin giving free hugs out in SoHo, then travel up through Washington Square Park, Union Square, Times Square and end at Columbus Circle. The whole schtick is so well-planned that you can even track the models’ location on a sweetly-drawn map on Shoptiques’ website.
The latest West Coast outfit to open up an outpost here in the chaotic environs of New York City: social commerce platform Polyvore. Their new neighborhood? Naturally it’s Soho, that downtown anthill swarming with fashionistas. While the company has had employees stationed here for years, the new office finally gives them a proper home.
Polyvore, which makes it easy for members to create those inspiration board-like collages so beloved by fashion bloggers and also to purchase whatever happens to be featured in those collages, just topped 17 million uniques per month. Over the last year the company has been working more closely with brands, including hosting its first fashion show in February, featuring FIT alums.
Cofounder Pasha Sadri told Betabeat via email that, “Being in close proximity to the fashion powerhouses of New York was a natural next step” for the company.
Oh You Fancy Huh?
We should have seen this coming after New York Fashion Week’s odd obsession with QR codes. First came the Yves Saint Laurent eyeshadow in Facebook blue (helps highlight that glassy, staring-at-screens look in your eyes!). At £39, at least that’s cheaper than Christian Louboutin’s attempt at geekiness. The high-end shoe designer is offering its popular Lady Peep stiletto in a tech-inspired pattern for the fall.
There’s just one problem, besides the $1,695 price tag. The company seems to have confused “computer code” with a circuit diagram of a computer chip, according to the sales pitch on its website:
Pop-ups are ever popping up about the city like so many mushrooms after a rainstorm, so it was only a matter of time before we saw one just for fashion startups. The New York City Economic Development Corporation has just announced that it’ll be collaborating with retailer Story on a competition dubbed Project Pop-Up NYC. It’s targeted to both up-and-coming retailers and (more importantly for our purposes) innovative fashion tech startups.
Up to three winners will get their very own pop-up within STORY’s Chelsea outpost during the month of September, which of course coincides nicely with Fashion Week. They’ll also win PR support, mentoring and “exposure at key industry events.” That last bit sounds a bit fuzzy, but the right mentor is a pearl beyond price. As many as eight other companies will also get display space.