Fendi – A History-Making Event

What would you do if you were given $US 10 million as marketing/ communications budget to create a newsworthy event that will attract the attention of global media?  Do what Fendi did!

Two months ago, the Italian luxury brand became the first to hold a runway show on the Great Wall of China. According to Vogue, 500 VIP guests were invited from around the world.  This is a dazzling example of how seriously luxury brands are taking the Chinese consumers (and their spending power) very seriously.

I have attended very big events and organised several fashion shows myself but to have one of the world’s ancient wonders as event backdrop, 88 models walking down the runway and Hollywood A-listers at the front rows as well hundreds of global news media attending your event – it’s a marketer/ communicator/ event manager’s dream come true.

Fendi boss Michael Burke said,

“The Great Wall showed that Fendi is clearly one of the few brands that is going to be known everywhere as a magical brand. It’s not a stretch for Fendi to do something like this. But how many brands could pull this off with credibility? If Coca Cola did it, it would be a stunt. For many of our competitors it would be a stretch,”

This is definitely no stunt. It is a history-making event.  Godfrey Deeny, the European editor of Fashion Wire Daily titled his news report, ” The Fendi show you could see from space,” and you probably could.

Creating a successful event:-

A couple of my friends who are great event producers/organisers told me – to create a successful fashion show or in fact any event, depends on a few key elements: Location, Budget, Set-up, Products and Guest list.

  • The ancient structure of the Great Wall sounds like a fantastic LOCATION, providing a long, natural runway.
  • US$10 million was also a great BUDGET to have. Flying those media and celebrities down to the event and lighting up the Great Wall – not an easy task at all.
  • The Fendi show featured an exclusive mini collection as well as the highly-acclaimed spring/summer 2008 collection.
  • Guests were given complimentary hand warmers and were seated comfortably on heated seats. (it’s amazing the amount of details and thoughts that went into the production and set up)
  • The SET UP and the guest list? Take a look at this SPECTACULAR show:-

To read more, simply do a google search and you have pages after pages of news reports (including Singapore’s owned network, Channel News Asia featuring it on primetime news).


4 thoughts on “Fendi – A History-Making Event

  1. Wow! This sure is a fabulous stunt by a brand. I was just there a couple of days ago as part of my Beijing trip and it was freezingly cold!

    I recalled that the other big stunt was the concert that was at Cambodia at the Taj Mahal, where the three tenors Luciano Pavarottie, Jose Carreras and Placido Domingo performed ( I think). The only worry about such stunts though is the damage that they may create on world heritage sites – although the publicity may be good for them.

  2. wow, i must say i’m impressed. can’t imagine the amount of paperwork they needed to get through to secure such a fantastic location -)

    inspiring stuff most definitely -) although yeah, Walter did bring up a notable point, wonder how the Chinese felt about the event.. but they’re rather enthusiastic about showing off their national wonders.. i remember a news report on their christmas ice sculptures that existed since manchurian times -)

  3. haha Walter. True about the heritage thing but am sure they pay huge amt of insurance coverage and taken great precaution not to even remove much dust from the wall.

    Brian, strangely enough, that was the first thing I thought of – hours of clearance and paperworks.

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