May 15, 2018
Department store chain Barneys New York is mixing shopping, entertainment and experience by hosting the second iteration of its annual thedropLA@barneys event next month.
Similar to last year, the event will feature capsules and surprise appearances from hot designers of the day who may drop unannounced new collections. ThedropLA@barneys is hosted in collaboration between Barneys and Highsnobiety, an online publication dedicated to fashion and streetwear.
"The first thedrop@barneys, which we launched in New York last October, was developed to attract a new customer, further engage with our current customers and highlight Barneys’ exclusive edit and partner brands," said Tomm Miller, executive vice president of communications and marketing at Barneys New York. "We created an immersive, in-store experience with exclusive limited-edition capsule 'drops' that coincided with designer appearances and unique product personalization and activations."
Barneys’ latest event brings together some of the most iconic designers in fashion today at the brand’s flagship store in Beverly Hills, CA.
There, Barneys and Highsnobiety are working together to create a memorable event full of surprise collection drops and experiential installations.
Beginning on June 2 and going until June 10, thedropLA@barneys will host more than 90 brands and 30 activations, including discussions, pop-up shops and immersive experiences from brands such as Prada.
Last year's event in New York. Image credit: Barneys
A number of new collections from designers will be on sale, including a few that are exclusive only to Barneys.
The event will also feature a live aquarium. The aquarium, along with all other installations and exhibits, will be on display until June 10.
Last year, the event was held in Barneys’ hometown of New York. But this year, the retailer is taking its drop experience to Los Angeles, which has increasingly become a center for fashion in the U.S.
Food and entertainment will be provided throughout the weekend, with musical performances and dining from around the Los Angeles area. The event will also have an online component, which customers can explore on Barneys’ Web site.
Barneys has been on a streak of offering limited-time in-store experiences to drive up customer engagement.
For example, Barneys New York is upping its experiential touchpoints within its Madison Avenue flagship with the inclusion of a celebrity stylist’s hair salon.
Barneys has partnered with hairstylist Sally Hershberger, who counts actresses Michelle Pfeiffer and Meg Ryan as clients, to open a salon on the department store’s ground floor. Retailers are increasingly using their physical locations to interact with consumers by offering an onslaught of services such as dining, fitness and wellness treatments (see story).
Guests at thedrop@barneys in New York. Image credit: Barneys
Similarly, Barneys New York blended diversity, technology and art together in an immersive storytelling experience that brought the retailer closer to consumers.
“Mantle,” a virtual reality video experience, featured a diverse group of dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company who range in age up to 80 years old. The 360-degree film was featured at select Barneys stores on Samsung Oculus headsets to make a lasting impression on shoppers, which is a vital component to in-store marketing today (see story).
Meanwhile on the marketing side, Barneys New York is adding entertainment to its repertoire of offerings with a new endeavor.
Barneys is taking on podcasting with a new series dedicated to a sophisticated, yet lively discussion. Fashion, culture, style and design are all topics covered in “The Barneys Podcast,” which launched on May 2 (see story).
"When we set out to reimagine thedrop, we were inspired by the fashion, art and cultural scene of L.A.," Mr. Miller said. "We incorporated that spirit into thedropLA@barneys offering new exclusive product launches, incredibly unique and immersive brand environments, thought-provoking panel discussions, local partnerships and entertainment components.
"Additionally, for our Drop LA, we put a greater focus on expanding our product offerings, including brands you wouldn’t normally associate with 'drops' like Prada, Manolo Blahnik, Fendi, and Burberry."