Brand content, Alive Magazine, December 2, 2016
Photos by Alan Wang for Alive Magazine
Based in St. Louis, Alive Magazine focuses on makers and artisans in almost 10 cities in the Midwest. The magazine, which publishes full-sized traditional magazines as well as smaller wedding- and city-specific guides six to ten times a year, covers art, fashion, food, social justice, beauty, wellness and more. While most of the magazine's print and digital features are journalism-lite, Alive also partners with brands for curated sponsored content and experiences.
As the editor in charge of digital content, I worked with Alive's account managers, data analyst and a major footwear client to develop sponsored items centered around the brand's new namesake design competition that anchors St. Louis Fashion Week and establishes it as a leader in the industry while highlighting amazing local fashion designers. We made a conscious effort to push ticket sales heavily.
The long-running multi-platform strategic content campaign included multiple preview and post-event stories about the designers, the final five contestants, the judges, the client, the prize vendors, the event sponsors, the event venue and various fashion entities in St. Louis. It also included Facebook photo albums, targeted Facebook ad buys, repeated shares from all Alive social media channels, print magazine content, e-newsletter spotlights, public voting on event items and more.
All items received tremendous shares on social media from readers, design contestants, partner vendors and namesake corporation. The event completely sold out and the response to the designers was so great that the client decided to award prize money to additional finalists beyond the winning designer. The top designers have continued to be featured in a variety of media, and the winning designer has since moved into a larger space and has increased production.
Below, I've included a few of the items that were part of the content strategy.
Five Reasons You Can't Miss the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition
By Allison Babka
The big finish to the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition is drawing near, when one designer will win $10,000 to accelerate his or her business and brand. Fashion enthusiasts in St. Louis are invited to celebrate the five finalists’ creativity and innovation during the exciting marquee event of Saint Louis Fashion Week on November 10. Here’s why you absolutely need to be there:
1/ These designers know their stuff.
Ralph Cordova of Rafael Adón, Claire Flowers, Christina Fogerty of Fauxgerty, Crystal Frazier of Qristyl Frazier Designs and Theresa Wangia of Beltshazzar Jewels are the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition finalists for a reason — their brands and presentations have wowed the judges so far, and there’s plenty more to come (Learn about their brands and what inspires them.). For the November 10 finale to the competition, each designer has been paired with a notable Caleres shoe, and they’ll share their inspired designs that night. Get ready to see the following exciting mash-ups:
Ralph Cordova and the Wright shoe from George Brown Bilt
Christina Fogerty and the Blakely shoe from Dr. Scholl’s
Claire Flowers and the Deanna shoe from Via Spiga
Crystal Frazier and the Holly shoe from Fergie
Theresa Wangia and the Beatrice shoe from Vince Line
2/ Majorette is the hottest new event space.
The big, bright “M” sign in the Maplewood neighborhood of St. Louis is impossible to miss, and it alludes to the fun that guests have in Majorette. The space, which originally was a furniture store and later a telemarketing firm, recently was transformed into an event venue with unlimited possibilities, and it’s sure to provide plenty of inspiration for our finalists. Featuring a huge open dance floor with a clerestory and mezzanine, Majorette provides plenty of character as the backdrop to the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition.
3/ You’ll experience more than just fashion.
Fashion inspiration will be everywhere on November 10, from edgy clothing and jewelry designs to models expertly showing how gorgeous pieces can be worn. But the evening will hold other types of fun, too! Don’t miss fashion illustrations by Michelle Volansky of Creature Type, a photo booth staffed by Grayward Entertainment and music by DJ Jillian.
4/ Your opinion counts.
You can have a say in how the event goes! Through November 8, vote for your favorite finalist to win the People’s Choice Award, a marketing package that could help one lucky designer raise the visibility and viability of his or her brand. You also can vote on tasty mixed drinks to be featured during the evening. Will it be the Glass Slipper? The Workboot? The Stiletto? It’s all up to you.
5/ Tickets cost less than a movie.
Let’s be honest: there’s not much that you can buy for $10 these days. But for less than the price of one blockbuster in a crowded movieplex, you can support the careers of regional creatives as they strive for success while enjoying a fun-filled event that celebrates fashion. What’s not to love? The special low price won’t last forever, though; Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur tickets are only $10 online until the day of the show and will increase at the door. Buy your tickets now!
St. Louis Brand Fauxgerty Wins the Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition
By Allison Babka
Designers, creative entrepreneurs, makers and fashion enthusiasts descended upon the Majorette event venue in St. Louis, Missouri, for Saint Louis Fashion Week‘s signature 2016 event. One design house walked away with first place, but the rest of the St. Louis creative community won in a big way, too. With more than $22,500 in grant money awarded by evening’s end, more than a few surprises contributed to one of Saint Louis Fashion Week’s most memorable events to date.
During an evening that celebrated creativity, innovation and community, five St. Louis designers took their final steps in the Shark Tank-style competition, an all-new Saint Louis Fashion Week competition presented by Caleres. The finalists—Ralph Cordova of Rafael Adón, Claire Flowers, Christina Fogerty of Fauxgerty, Crystal Frazier of Qristyl Frazier Designs and Theresa Wangia of Beltshazzar Jewels—smartly shared their business plans with the crowd and panel of influential judges during their final presentations on November 10.
Christina Fogerty’s brand Fauxgerty, committed to sustainable construction, took home the top Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition prize grant of $10,000,while Crystal Frazier’s Qristyl Frazier Designs, which offers “plus sexy” designs for curvy women, came in second with a $5,000 grant. Meanwhile, Claire Flowers was selected as the People’s Choice Award winner through an online vote, winning a marketing package from ALIVE Media Group for her shoe brand that caters to on-the-go women in urban work environments.
In a moving announcement from host Elizabeth Tucker, both the finalists and the audience were surprised when she shared that Ginger Imster of Arch Grants would award Rafael Adón, Claire Flowers and Theresa Wangia $2,500 grants for their brands as well. During their deliberations, Imster and the judges found that they were so impressed with all five finalists that deciding to support each of them was vital.
The fun didn’t stop with the competition. In the newly opened event space—beautifully decked out with shoe-inspired touches, warm lighting and a majestic staircase that served as the presentation platform—more than 500 Caleres Fashion Entrepreneur Competition guests enjoyed fashion illustrations by Michelle Volansky of Creature Type, a photo booth staffed by Grayward Entertainment and music by DJ Jillian. In addition, Once Films presented inspiring film vignettes about each finalist, and the venue bar served up shoe-themed drinks.
Peek below at some of our favorite photos from the evening, shot by Alan Wang. Visit ALIVE Media Group on Facebook in the coming days for more photos and celebrations of style.