L’Oréal Paris intros a novel twist for this year’s Toronto Fashion Week

The beauty conglomerate's integrated leveraging of its sponsorship is a thing of beauty.

After nine seasons as a lead sponsor of Toronto’s semi-annual L’Oréal Fashion Week, the last four as title sponsor, L’Oréal Paris will kick up its participation – and leveraging of the connection – several notches when the models strut their stuff Oct. 16-21 (in the Muzik venue at Exhibition Place).

First, the premiere event will showcase not primarily the latest duds from Canadian designers, but the beauty conglomerate’s makeup and hair products. L’Oréal’s runway show – a device that’s recently become popular among brands such as Cashmere and Wal-Mart’s George clothing line – will be dubbed ‘Fragmented Time.’ PR rep Cathy Cowan describes it as ‘a multimedia adventure that will take attendees on a mystical and creative journey to uncover the emerging spring 2007 make-up and hair trends.’

But it’s L’Oréal’s multi-faceted activation of its Fashion Week sponsorship that’s the real news. Cowan characterizes this as ‘the pinnacle’ of the partnership from L’Oréal’s point of view. ‘There’s a whole integrated piece behind it including print advertising in several fashion magazines, media relations around the 30-member hair and makeup team talking about trends and colours and products for spring, and a hospitality program where we bring in L’Oréal VIPs and retail partners to show them what L’Oreal does.’ ZenithOptimedia handled the media chores on this initiative, L’Oréal’s AOR, Marketel (Montreal), did the creative, and Toronto’s Cowan & Company Communications did the PR and media relations.

L’Oréal spokes-model Dayle Haddon will attend the opening runway show, and there will be product sampling during the entire week. Additionally, an online component will feature a ‘Fashion Week VIP’ contest with the top prize being a trip for two to Toronto for the next Fashion Week, in March.