Fashion Forward

After several days of rain, the New York sky opens up to a cloudless summer day. Ryan Berger, creative director of Euro RSCG Buzz, couldn’t be more thrilled. The forecast called for rain, and nothing ruins an exclusive outdoor event in East Hampton like a downpour.

On this late August afternoon, 16 gleaming Jaguars are lined up in front of the former summer estate of the Bouvier family for a “Jaguar + Hogan Drive Gorgeous” rally. The event promotes Jaguar and fashion accessories brand Hogan, which designed a limited edition leather tote for the occasion featuring the automaker’s “growler” image. The celebration begins with ice tea on the lawn, and the “Gorgeous” guests sign up for the impending ride.

In keeping with Jaguar’s “Gorgeous” TV and print campaign, the event, created by Euro RSCG Buzz and the Strategic Group to introduce the XK and Hogan alliance, features the young and the beautiful. Guests include Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s Thom Filicia, actor Justin Bartha, model Lydia Hearst, polo player/model Nacho Figueras, Daniel Benedict, Andrew Saffir and Kelly Killoren.

Emanuele Della Valle, director of Hogan and president of Formapura Creative, says, “Both brands have a strong design heritage. Jaguar is the quintessential symbol of British cool. It’s fun to come together for this, and hopefully there will be a lot more.”

The extent of the partnership has yet to be determined, says Jaguar events manager Stephanie Dauble, later at the reception back at the estate on Further Lane. But, she does say, “this strategic collaboration is the first of many yet to come. It’s a really exciting time for Jaguar, and it’s just the beginning.”

Guests find two Hogan totes inside each car, and at least one guest—Hearst—is trotting around with it on her arm before the driving begins. “I really like this bag,” she says, as she gets into car No. 13, a convertible, with photographer Patrick McMullan and Pierce Reed. The custom bag has been stuffed with toys for the ride, including a CD of driving music and a Polaroid camera to document the day. The guests pick their rides, and the rally is off. The afternoon’s first stop is the Memory Motel in Montauk, the bar and motel immortalized in the Rolling Stone’s single of the same name. The owner, who has opened up the bar for the rally, greets the guests for a break of non-alcoholic refreshments and snacks, and passes out souvenir T-shirts.

Curious guests peek from their doors as the stream of Jaguars pull up and drivers park their cars. Luigi Tadini gives his first impressions of driving the XK and admits he’s already grown attached. “It was amazing, very smooth. I wish we could race,” he says. “I love everything about them. Do we get to keep them?”

Marin Hopper, creative consultant to Formapura, mingles inside the bar and shares the inspiration for the bag. “I love the growler image, and we thought we should take the opportunity to do something with it,” she says. Standing beside her, Della Valle says he is pleased with the way the day is progressing. “It’s really fun, we’re having a great time,” he says. “Jaguar and Hogan both have a youthful take on luxury and style.”

It is this youthful take that Jaguar hopes to impart with events such as this, Berger says. The goal is to get “the influencers” talking about the brand as a “new fashion luxury,” says Berger. “We want to change the perception of the car and the brand,” which has traditionally entertained an older consumer.

Group account director Dan McLaughlin adds, “We’re looking to a target that has an understanding of modern luxury. You are only as good as the company you keep. Hogan is a truly international luxury brand, with cutting- edge design. That’s exactly what we’re trying to duplicate with the brand.”

The next stop is the sprawling, seaside Church Estate, where Andy Warhol spent some summers. Director Paul Morrissey, who collaborated with Warhol on many films, including Heat and Trash, welcomes guests to the secluded beach-front property, as waiters serve virgin Bloody Marys, oysters and shrimp cocktail. Getting out of car No. 7, Bartha shares his enthusiasm for the ride: “I love fun, I love fast and I love Bloody Marys!”

Felicia sums up his participation with, “I love Jaguar, I love Hogan and I love the Hamptons.”

As the evening winds down at the clambake, McMullan flutters around the guests, taking more snapshots. “It was a hot, gorgeous day,” he says. “Gorgeous, as is the car.”