Project Runway's getting a new retail partnership for its 10th season; but in a way, they're going back to the beginning. After six seasons of e-tail partnerships with Bluefly and then Piperlime, they're going with Lord & Taylor. As you may recall, the show’s original retail sponsor when we still watched it it was on Bravo, was another department store--Macy's. Clearly, the show is eager to go back to the old formula, and having a department store sponsor--as opposed to an e-commerce one--could be a part of that.
A retail sponsorship with Project Runway means a few things, but mainly that, throughout the season, contestants (who don't have meltdowns and leave) will choose pieces from the Lord & Taylor accessory wall to complete their looks and that the winner of the contest will have their collection sold by the retailer. Also, L&T will host a "fashion challenge" at their Fifth Avenue flagship which will air August 30.
And remember how Fashion's Night Out is coming up? At Lord & Taylor this year, you'll find Project Runway stars--past and present. The partnership will also be promoted through store windows and social media platforms. A release from Lord & Taylor describes this as a "comprehensive integrated marketing program."
The exposure this partnership brings will probably be pretty beneficial to Lord & Taylor as well. Not that everyone hasn't already heard of the nearly 200-year-old store, but Lord & Taylor don't get nearly as much buzz as a lot of their competitors, like, say, Macy's, who now have a permanent spot on Fashion Star and a rotating roster of high-profile designer collaborations. Just a couple of days ago, Hudson Bay Co., the company that owns Lord & Taylor, announced plans to revitalize the department store, including renovations and brand partnerships. Could Lord & Taylor become the new Macy's?