Who handled Project Blue's PR? Barneys and Elle, anyone?

Written By bryanboy

Who handled Project Blue’s PR? Barneys and Elle, anyone?

Earlier this morning, I read a tweet from Timothy Elliott, Men’s PR Director of Barneys New York, pointing his followers to a charity auction on eBay.

Timothy Elliott, Barneys PR

This ought to be interesting. How is it possible for a custom, one-off
Bottega Veneta dress end up fetching a paltry $306 at an auction? 

Click click click!

A few clicks around eBay and I discovered Project Blue, a joint
charity auction held by Barneys New York and Elle Magazine which
benefits Oceana, the world’s largest international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting and restoring oceans.

Project Blue by Barneys New York and Elle Magazine

Last summer, Barneys collected donated denim and asked designers such
as Alexander Wang, Ann Demeulemeester, Bottega Veneta, Derek Lam,
Rodarte, Rogan, Stella McCartney and Versace to create one-of-a-kind
pieces from recycled denim.

It’s funny because today, after Tim’s tweet, is the first time I heard of this auction. Apparently it’s been going on since April 30th.

Elle magazine photographed and featured the pieces for their May 2009 issue.

A search on my blog reader shows that only a handful of fashion blogs made an entry about it. Perhaps Barneys and Elle should reconsider their digital marketing

I have 731 blogs (I know, I know. I’m a monster reader) on my RSS feed but only four blogs from my list mentioned Project Blue — denimtherapy (who is the first one to blog about it on April 30th), hintmag, the imagist and mediabistro. For some reason, I still managed to overlook it! LOL

I couldn’t help but wonder whether the usual fashion blogger pack

a) ignored the auction or
b) like me, has never even heard of it until now.

I guess what my blog entry boils down to is that I’m dismayed at the results of the auction.

Eight different, one-of-a-kind custom styles from leading designers for a smashing grand total of US$3809.

Barneys and Elle magazine (this is where I assume my dear readers) probably spent more in organizing and marketing the event than the actual proceeds from the garments.

I know it’s for a brilliant and fantastic cause.

Barneys New York shop window display

The question of the day is… how come the pieces didn’t end up with higher bids?

I’ll spare myself from commenting about the actual designs but lemme say this — surely there must be some wealthy Barneys customer who is ALSO an Elle reader somewhere?

Here are some of the designs up close.

Alexander Wang and Derek Lam

Alexander Wang and Derek Lam dress for Project Blue

Versace and Bottega Veneta

Versace and Bottega Veneta dress for Project Blue

The jewel of the auction is the Rodarte piece which received the highest bid out of everything.

Rodarte dress for Barneys and Elle Magazine

I know I would’ve placed a higher bid on the Ann Demeulemeester set.

Ann Demeulemeester for Project Blue by Barneys and Elle magazine

Unfortunately, by the time I got to that page, the auction just ended. HELLLLLLO MANOLO, a regular Ann Dem tank top costs so much more than the winning bid of $140 retail…. and the one at the auction includes a reworked denim jacket and a pair of jeans!

Here’s a breakdown of how the auction fared:

  • [here] Bottega Veneta dress – $306
  • [here] Ann Demeulemeester jacket, tank top and jeans – $140
  • [here] Stella McCartney jacket and jumpsuit – $306
  • [here] Derek Lam top and skirt – $306
  • [here] Rogan dress – $251
  • [here] Versace dress – $321.01
  • [here] Alexander Wang jacket & shorts – $305
  • [here] Rodarte dress – $1,875

What do y’all think?

In any case, congrats to Barneys and Elle for this lovely concept. Like what I said, it’s for a great cause.

For those of you who would like to donate to Oceana, click HERE.

That’s all.

photo credits: the imagist, barneys/elle/oceana via ebay


  1. I blogged about it, but then my blog is so small and from Germany… I LOVED the rodarte dress, the rest was rather… hm. BUT i totally agree with your critic of the pr – if you’re doing a charity auction, you HAVE to promote it! i don’t know why they didn’t—

  2. leanjhuls

    It shows no one really gives a damn about the ocean. I don’t.

  3. junie20

    talk about sour grapes…what’s wrong about the people these days…first the met scandal and this auction…makes me want to question their credibility as agents of fashion.

  4. §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§

    i agree, they probably didn’t even think to promote it online. i came across it by accident as a small window on the US ebay site. An online auction, let’s not bother to alert the internet… i have to say that i don’t like any of the pieces though, except for bottega veneta surprisingly. rodarte and demeulemeester look like camden market stall customising.

  5. Stefanie

    its probably because they realized that they infringed on someone else’s trademark and had to deliberately keep it on the down low because of a C&D that was sent to my counterpart at Elle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *