If you ask me, our table was having the most fun because I was joined by two of my favorite Gotham power gals Leslie Stevens and Susan Malinowski. We’ve known each other since preschool (not really, but you get the picture) and our paths have crossed in interesting ways throughout the years through various jobs and clients. Back in the day, Susan, now vice president of marketing at Wacoal America, was my boss at Danskin-Pennaco Hosiery. Leslie, who helms her own PR firm, LaForce + Stevens, with partner James LaForce, worked with us as a consultant. Today, Susan is shaking things up at Wacoal America and Leslie’s agency is handling spreading all the big news about what’s happening with the brand.
In the nine months since Susan joined the company, “She has revolutionized the brand,” says Leslie. Based on the images from the new multimillion-dollar advertising campaign, “Wacoal Woman,” which breaks in the new issues of Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar, I’d have to agree. Susan served as art director and copy writer on the ads, which cleverly drive the point home that these beautiful bras are really, according to her, “beauty products.” Says Susan: “The branding campaign positions Wacoal bras as beauty products that make women look and feel beautiful. We’re actually in the beauty business. We did research and 75 percent of women who buy Wacoal bras wear them every day.” The campaign will also be featured prominently on social media and expand into other books, including Elle, Vogue and InStyle, come September.
The ads, which feature a series of women whose faces are obscured and instead focus on glowing bodies in Wacoal bras, and some with discreetly expensive accessories, were shot by Erez Sabag. The eye-catching images rival the editorial readers expect from the fashion and beauty bibles. To drive home the beauty connection, various taglines such as “With the right lip gloss and my sexy Wacoal bra, I won’t be easily forgotten” tell the story of different women’s beauty regimens. The new tagline for the campaign is: “The Art and Science of Intimates.” Because as any woman who has stood in a fitting room littered with bras that don’t fit knows, finding the right bra is both an art and a science.
Speaking of fit, Wacoal has expanded its “Fit for the Cure” partnership with Susan G. Komen, which raises money for breast cancer awareness ($14 million in 14 years and counting) and will do 1,200 fit events nationwide this year. Wacoal donates $2 to the organization for every woman who tries on one of its bras and another $2 if the person purchases one. This year, Wacoal created a special partnership with breast cancer survivor Hollye Jacobs, author of The Silver Lining: A Supportive and Insightful Guide to Breast Cancer (currently number 6 on the “How To” section of The New York Times’ Best Seller list). Wacoal created a glittering silver bra strap inspired by Hollye’s book that can be attached to many of its styles and “flashed” from tanks and T-shirts. All the proceeds from the sale of the strap, available exclusively on fitforthecure.com, will go to Susan G. Komen to provide copies of Hollye’s book to women who could not otherwise afford to purchase the “girlfriend’s guide” to dealing with the disease.
Leslie also had plenty of exciting news to share. This week, she and her tireless team are busy at the Tribeca Film Festival working with their client AT&T. They’ve come up with an incredibly clever way of democratizing the oh-so-chic film festival by bringing it to the pop culture and social-media-obsessed masses (in other words, everyone). The “Film for All” Twitter campaign includes a short film shown before every entry with famous film folks explaining their pick for the movie every New Yorker should see (Graydon Carter picked The King of Comedy) and asking people to tweet their pick with the hashtag #FilmForAll. The top vote getter will be screened for free in all five boroughs this summer. For the next four nights, each Twitter vote (complete with the voters’ Twitter profile pictures) will be part of a stream of images beamed on to the 40-story AT&T building downtown. A new twist on Warhol’s prophetic “everyone will be famous for 15 minutes,” don’t you think? There is also a stunning eight-minute film montage (we’ve seen it and it’s great) shown every night before the tweets. Well done!
Here’s the rundown on today’s crowd:
1. Chase Field Ventures’ Peter Travers (not, not that one) and an attractive blonde gal we didn’t recognize
2. Leslie Stevens, Susan Malinowski and yours truly
3. Forbes Travel Guide‘s new CEO Jerry Inzerillo (Happy Birthday!)
4. Donny Deutsch (in his usual tight black T-shirt) and a dark-haired gal we didn’t get to meet. Before she made her way to her table, Star Jones sat down for a quick chat with her fellow Today show contributor.
5. Ronald Dozoretz
6. Dr. Gerald Imber, Jeff Greenfield, Jerry Della Femina and Michael Kramer
7. Dujour‘s Jason Binn (in denim — in support of National Denim Day, we’re guessing) with a well-dressed fellow in a suit and tie
8. New York Social Diary‘s David Patrick Columbia and Connie Spahn (Happy Birthday!)
9. A very sparkly Star Jones and Dr. Holly Phillips looking gorgeous as usual
10. PR maven Susan Blond
11. Andrew Stein with a very serious-looking young gal
12. Style Sovereign’s Cayli Reck
14. Simon & Schuster’s Alice Mayhew and Jonathan Alter
16. It’s a family affair: Producer Joan Gelman with her sons Josh Gelman and Gregg Gelman
17. Discovery ID’s Henry Schlieff and Maria Silver
18. PR princess Lisa Linden, Charlie Millard and attorney Philip J. Kessler of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn
20. Literary agent Frederica Friedman, whose daughter Vanessa Friedman was recently named chief fashion critic at The New York Times. Congrats!
21. Barry Frey
22. Joe Barloto
23. Nautilus Magazine‘s John Steele
24. Enrique Guerra
25. Citi Group’s Sean Rogers
26. Adam Reinmann
29. Vince Sandusky
81. Louis Vuitton’s Nancy Murray
Diane Clehane is a contributor to FishbowlNY. Follow her on Twitter @DianeClehane. Please send comments and corrections on this column to LUNCH at MEDIABISTRO dot COM.