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Case Study: Aligning with Strategic Partners with Cotton Incorporated

Challenge: Cotton Incorporated, the marketing arm of America’s upland cotton farmers, is charged with promoting the cotton industry but does not produce product of its own.

Goal: Align with strategic fashion designers to promote the use of American cotton among an elevated, luxury market.

Tactics: While a PR Manager at Cotton Incorporated, I created the Designer Support Project which provided sponsorship support to up and coming fashion designers using at least 70% cotton in their collections. Additionally, designers needed to have luxury distribution to support elevating cotton as a premium fabrication, not just for underwear and t-shirts.

Going beyond a check in exchange for logo presence at events, I worked with each designer to create a unique sponsorship package in which they received crucial dollars to produce their collection and Cotton Inc. received crucial strategic alignment and promotional opportunities. This included standard logo presence at fashion shows, on invitation, in VIP lounges, etc. as well as designer use of Cotton Inc. developed fabrication, use of designer collections in trend presentations, co-op PR pitching and exclusive co-branded product available for consume purchase. 

Results: Brand alliances included Alexander Wang, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Vena Cava, Rock and Republic, Project Alabama and Jeremy Scott. Highlights of these partnerships include the development of a water repellent denim launched by Alexander Wang with press features in Teen Vogue and retail distribution at Barneys, a co-branded cotton bag by Vena Cava and available for retail exclusive at Fred Segal, a VIP denim customization lounge at NYFW with Rock and Republic and Project Alabama and an exclusive beach towel for VIPs by Jeremy Scott.

Through these partnerships, cotton fabrications and Cotton Incorporated were elevated in the eyes of the fashion trade community with experts used in media such as the NYTimes, Real Simple and In Style.