Glamorous Rest: Unisom and Christian Siriano Host Slumber-Themed Met Gala Parade

The Martin Agency helps the brand put the 'beauty' in sleep on fashion's biggest night

Leaders from Glossier, Shopify, Mastercard and more will take the stage at Brandweek to share what strategies set them apart and how they incorporate the most valued emerging trends. Register to join us this September 23–26 in Phoenix, Arizona.

In the fashion industry, people anticipate the first Monday in May when the annual Met Gala takes place. The looks that grace the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s steps become conversation fodder for both industry leaders and social media observers.

This year, sleep-aid brand Unisom and fashion designer Christian Siriano seized the glamorous moment with an unusual collaboration to highlight the importance of sleep and pay homage to this year’s theme, Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion.

On May 6, the day of the Met Gala, 20 models wearing custom and archive pieces with playful nods to sleepwear paraded through the streets of New York, culminating at The Met. Along the way, the models pretended to fall asleep at iconic landmarks such as The Plaza Hotel and New York Public Library.

“We want to make sure people are aware of what we believe in and how we can drive awareness around the need for sleep,” said Claudine Patel, chief marketing officer of Sanofi Consumer Healthcare North America, the parent company of Unisom.

ADWEEK spoke to Jodi Mordekai, senior manager of brand and innovation at Unisom, about how the brand interrupted fashion’s big moment and how it is measuring success.

ADWEEK: Why did you decide to do an activation during the Met Gala?

Jodi Mordekai: Unisom has been a relatively quiet, sleepy brand. We partnered with The Martin Agency, and what better than fashion’s biggest night to realize the beauty of sleep? To be at the Met Gala, where the theme was Sleeping Beauties: Reawakening Fashion, the opportunity to talk about sleep was powerful. We decided to activate now and to show up where we have been predominantly kind of sleepy, getting back to the cultural conversation in a meaningful way.

How did the concept come about?

It’s all about realizing how important sleep is and how sleep is one beautiful element of our lives. The beauty of sleep is happening at various iconic places around New York today, which is just so amazing. We were in front of Rockefeller Center, we were in front of the New York Public Library.

How we are reawakening our brands is similar to how this fashion night is about reawakening sleeping beauties. We are waking up, and we have a new brand in partnership with The Martin Agency as well as Lippe Taylor, our agency who got us in touch with Christian Siriano.

How was it working with Christian Siriano and deciding on the looks?

It was a beautiful fit. [Siriano] realizes when you get a good night’s sleep, you show up as your most beautiful self the next day. Because of all the beautiful content he puts out into the world, he needs to get a good night’s sleep to show up as his best self to do that each and every day. He just internalizes that, and it’s a very authentic part of who he is.

How can brands get involved with cultural events authentically?

We’re all consumers, so we know we’d read right through [something inauthentic]. If it doesn’t feel like a natural place for the brand to be, don’t show up. It has to be meaningful; otherwise the consumer will read through the lines.