Refinery 29 debuts a Port Authority fashion initiative

NEW YORK: Refinery 29, a fashion news and e-commerce Web site, plans to launch a month-long designer pop-up shop inside New York's Port Authority later this month.

NEW YORK: Refinery 29, a fashion news and e-commerce Web site, plans to launch a month-long designer pop-up shop inside New York's Port Authority later this month.

The shop, which will feature a rotating list of designers with discounted merchandise, is the launch effort for Save Fashion, Refinery 29's ongoing marketing strategy to benefit independent fashion designers and expand its own digital-oriented brand on- and off-line.

“We'd been thinking for ways to really bring this community of designers, established and more emerging, together, and find innovative ways to sell their product in a tough economic climate,” said Philippe von Borries, cofounder and creative director at Refinery 29. “To us, it fits in nicely with [our] digital media company as an offline component that builds a hub for a community of designers.”

The shop will debut April 30th in Blank SL8, a Port Authority space dedicated to the promotion of fashion and art. Project sponsors include The Fashion Center Business Improvement District (FCBID), Times Square Alliance, and Port Authority.

Refinery 29 tapped the Krupp Group to handle media outreach. The team will also promote the store via a Facebook page, Save Fashion microsite, blogger outreach, and live Twittering during a red-carpet launch gala and VIP shopping events. The marketing budget is $6,000, which includes PR and store design.

The Port Authority has rented the Blank SL8 space to FCBID and the Times Square Alliance for six months, at a $1 per month. They selected Refinery 29 for the first installment after issuing an RFP. Now, the groups are conducting organizational outreach to secure future opportunities for the Blank SL8 space.

“What we're trying to do in terms of marketing is reach out to different associations that sponsor shows for young designers, like Ecco Domani or Geoffrey Beene,” said Barbara Randall, president of FCBID.

She noted it could have potential as a less expensive venue for designers during the city's fashion weeks.

“Part of our effort is to continue to redefine the retail potential of 8th Avenue,” added Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance.

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