TIFF 2013: NKPR brings IT back for the stars
September 06, 2013 | Kristin Laird | Comments
A behind-the-scenes look at this year’s IT Lounge
Buzz around celebrity gift lounges during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) seems to grow each year and in some cases garners more media attention than the films themselves.
While movie fans are curious about the swag stars walk away with, from a marketing perspective the brands participating in these gift lounges expect to have big stories to tell.
NKPR in Toronto was especially careful when curating brands for the IT Lounge Portrait Studio, making sure they fit with this year’s theme: modern vintage. To help bring the theme to life, NKPR transformed its loft-like office in downtown Toronto with vintage furniture.
“We’re really mindful of the brands we put together,” said NKPR founder and president Natasha Koifman. “We theme it so it makes sense together and so that we’re able to really tell a story.”
Avon, Roots Canada and Tweezerman are a few examples of the “heritage” brands participating in this year’s invite-only lounge that runs from Sept. 5 to 8.
Roots Canada, for instance, is celebrating its 40th anniversary and as part of the Lounge will feature its classic sweats and genuine leather pieces like the limited-edition moto jacket created in collaboration with Canadian design duo Smythe.
Avon is also on the cusp of an important milestone. The cosmetic company is approaching its 100th anniversary in Canada and is kicking off its “Start Something” campaign this month with the introduction of rhinestone USB key bracelets. The bracelet is available to purchase online, with proceeds benefitting the Canadian Women’s Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada.
“There are certain brands you’re familiar with but you have no idea how long they’ve been around… we really wanted to bring those brands to the forefront and shine a spotlight on them,” says Koifman.
Also, on the more practical side of things, Colgate has created a black bristle toothbrush (the number one item in every female starlet’s clutch, according to Koifman). To tie it into the modern vintage theme, NKPR partnered Colgate with Anna Post, the great-great-granddaughter to etiquette author Emily Post. Anna is providing etiquette tips for the festival through the #SomethingInYourTweet campaign.
“When you talk about bringing brand experiences to life it’s through initiatives like that,” says Koifman. “A toothbrush is a toothbrush but not when it’s a really cool toothbrush from Colgate and it ties into how it’s useful for you and I think that’s what makes the lounge really cool.”
NKPR has also partnered with famed photographer Caitlin Cronenberg for the return of its Portrait Studio which revolves around a run down 1950s style bungalow camp in the Catskills. Cronenberg will be on-hand to shoot celebrities for a special online gallery created by W Magazine.
In the spirit of giving, NKPR continues to support Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), the non-profit organization founded by Canadian director Paul Haggis in support of communities in Haiti.
Since launching at the festival five years ago, APJ has raised nearly $6 million dollars with help from NKPR initiatives. This year, NKPR is donating proceeds to APJ for every celebrity that visits the IT Lounge and has their portrait taken.
And as a testament to the power of the IT Lounge, Koifman is using it as a platform to launch her own line of ring-to-wrist bracelets with 100% of the proceeds benefitting APJ.
Videography by Pam Lau