Grazia, the weekly glossy, has teamed up with the Mayor of London, BT and the British Fashion Council to launch Hatwalk, a stylish campaign that sees the city’s statues get a millinery make over.
The project is part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad - the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Some of the UK’s top hat designers got on board with the project that forms part of Fashion 2012, the stylish arm of the Olympiad.
Twenty one London statues, including King George IV (Trafalgar Square) and William Shakespeare (Leicester Square) have been jazzed up with hot headwear in a project that took over a year to plan and implement. Hatwalk was curated by world renowned British milliners, Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy, who were assisted by Grazia’s Style Director Paula Reed. Treacy may be one fo the UK’s most high profile milliners, but the project has also made room for up-and-coming design talent. Sophie Beale, who won Grazia’s Hat Factor competition created a piece for British general Sir Charles Napier in Trafalgar Square. The hats will remain on the statues for five days and include variations such as the ‘Red, Red, Rose’ headpiece (Robert Burns, Victoria Embankment) and flamboyantly coloured turbans (Beau Brummel, Jermyn Street).
The project already has one high-profile fan in the shape of Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. “You’ve got to take your hats off to London,” he says. “Our city is a melting pot of creativity right at the forefront of global fashion and design. The cutting edge style and imagination of London’s millinery talent is feted worldwide, and is setting the international catwalks alight. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the heritage of British millinery and its contribution to our fair city than by dressing our most noble of statues, including our most heroic son, Nelson in creations dreamt up by our leading visionaries. In this summer like no other, we have come up with series of spectacular surprises and once-in-a-lifetime experiences that will be popping up throughout the capital. HATWALK is just one of these, so keep your eyes peeled for what’s coming next!”
The campaign also has digital and interactive threads. Thorughout the games there will be an interactive structure at the BT London Live event in Hyde Park in which replicas of the hats will be displayed. Members of the public will also be able to have their photo taken wearing a hat donated by John Lewis. There will also be a Hatwalk app, which will allow people to see video interviews with the designers and download a virtual map of the featured statues.
Outside of London, people will be able to interact with Hatwalk via the microsite, www.graziadaily.co.uk/hatwalk
, featuring live commentary, imagery and video throughout the week. As part of the BT sponsorship, which Bauer Media brokered, BT will have branding throughout the website and be referenced on all digital platforms. Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest will all be active during the project and fans will be encouraged to get involved in the conversation through #hatwalk. A viral teaser was issued through Grazia Daily on Friday, July, 27 with users encouraged to guess the nature of the video for a chance to win a year’s subscription to Grazia magazine.
According to Abby Carvosso, managing director of Bauer Magazines lifestyle, the project is a coming together of fashion and history, while also highlighting the magazine’s inventive brand interactions. “Hatwalk will give Grazia readers an amazing opportunity to experience London’s historical icons in a completely new way while celebrating British millinery talent during the biggest event of the century. The relationship with BT and the Mayor of London highlights the innovative way Grazia works with its partners and the depth of interaction sponsors can have with their audiences through Bauer’s influential brands.”