Detergent, Chocolate, G-Strings: Weird Freebies at Colombian Fashion Week
MEDELLIN, COLOMBIA--Colombia Moda 2010: The show of local designer Camillo Alvarez is about to start. As I sit down at my seat, I find an unexpected freebie awaiting me: a canvas bag with the logo "Blancox" is filled with a range of washing powders--for whites, colors, wool. Quite a change from Mark Fast tights awarded to London Fashion Week goers. The catwalk is also heavily branded with Blancox, the local equivalent of Persil detergent. And there’s more--before and after the show, the sponsor’s extensive advert is screened, and nobody seems surprised. Over the week, I gradually collect free fabric softener, chocolates and fluorescent g-strings. A show, sponsored by a fridge factory, even hands out their store’s catalog, and holds a fridge demonstration outside the show (but gives no freezer away, sadly). Sure, fashion weeks round the world have seemingly unrelated sponsors--Mercedes-Benz for Berlin Fashion Week and New York Fashion Week is one the most visible examples. However, in most cases, the sponsors remain slightly more under-the-radar than what I witnessed in Medellin. But regardless, why was I so disturbed?