By Tricia Carr
April 6, 2012
French conglomerate PPR Group will join the House of Balenciaga to sponsor a museum exhibition called “Cristóbal Balenciaga, Collectionneur de Modes” in Paris that presents the heritage of Balenciaga through historical clothing items and the designer’s life story.
Beginning April 13, the exhibit will be displayed at the at the Docks – Cité de la Mode et du Design through October. The exhibit will showcase one of PPR’s fashion house’s timeless appeal through a historical fashion collection that honors the late designer, Cristóba Balenciaga.
“I think supporting these gallery exhibitions is the right way to spend PPR’s marketing funds that are for nonprofit endeavors,” said Milton Pedraza, CEO of the Luxury Institute, New York.
“It is a great way for PPR to invest marketing funds in something that is noncommercial,” he said. “It is a legitimate museum that has great art and history and [the sponsorship] creates wonderful awareness.”
In addition to Balenciaga, PPR brands include Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Brioni, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric, Tretorn and Fnac.
Cristóbal Balenciaga, Collectionneur de Modes will pay tribute to the late designer near the 40th anniversary of his death.
The exhibit is one of a series of external exhibits organized by the Galliera Museum.
There will be more than 70 costumes and clothing items and 40 coats and dresses on display that were designed by Mr. Balenciaga between 1937 and 1968.
The pieces in the museum exhibit were gathered from the Galliera’s collection or are on loan from the designer’s family.
“This sponsoring partnership represents another opportunity for PPR to show its support for its fashion houses whose heritage and history are quintessential to their formidable creative impetus,” PPR said in a statement.
“In this way, PPR advocates a vision of fashion that is, at once, sustainable, generous and inspired and which has timeless appeal,” the conglomerate said.
“An exhibition that emphasizes the exceptional heritage and strong identity of the Balenciaga house, especially in Paris where the Balenciaga house was founded in 1936, is of natural interest for both Balenciaga and its parent company PPR.”
Visitors to the exhibit will view items such as casaquins, satin torero costumes, velvet boleros, capes, bustle dresses, cashmere stoles, lace mantillas and samples of embroidery.
Accessories, photographs and the designer’s sketches will also be displayed.
“This exhibit is for affluent, educated consumers to view the art of the most famous fashion designers,” Mr. Pedraza said. “It is an opportunity to educate the public and create awareness and affection for the brand.
“It is what I would call the logical, educational marketing that only a great luxury brand can implement,” he said. “I think it humanizes Mr. Balenciaga and it humanizes the brand.
“It is a powerful combination of these factors.”
PPR will leverage itself through this sponsorship by showing its support for its fashion houses, claims the brand.
Museums exhibits seem to be a way for luxury marketers to expose themselves to a highly-educated, affluent audience.
For example, French fashion label Chanel presented a Little Black Jacket exhibit in Tokyo that displayed 113 photographs taken by creative director Karl Lagerfeld from the book “The Little Black Jacket: Chanels classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld,” which will release this fall.
Chanel marketed its museum show with an e-exhibition of the photos, behind-the-scenes video footage of the photoshoots and promotion via social media.
In addition, French brand Hermès will open its Hermès Leather Forever exhibit May 8 in London that will emphasize the handcraftsmanship and strong history behind the brand.
“I think PPR and Balenciaga are trying to reach average fans of the brand and fashion, in general, and both men and women,” Mr. Pedraza said. “They’re a very educated set of people who love art, history and fashion.
“What they are doing is wonderful storytelling through the garments and the story of the designer,” he said. “People love to see the story of how these designers evolved.”