When it comes to fashion, Metro is quickly becoming a veteran of the runway.
For Toronto Fashion Week, on now, the retailer, worked with fashion magazine Flare to create a cookbook dubbed Style & Sustenance.
The book (pages from which are pictured below) feature interviews with eight Toronto Fashion Week insiders, asking what fuels them before, during and after the show. Chef Cory Vitiello created a recipe to accompany each interview.
Style and Sustenance is available in the April issue of Flare to Ontario subscribers and distributed in the Fashion Week tent and at Metro.ca.
“We hope readers are inspired by the simple recipes and fresh ingredients, all available at Metro grocery stores,” said Nancy Modrcin, vice-president marketing for Metro Ontario.
Metro had its runway debut last year as the first and only grocery sponsor of Toronto’s fashion week.
Its partnership with Flare (owned by Canadian Grocer’s parent company Rogers Media) included a content initiative that saw Flare editors work with designers, fashion bloggers and chefs to create a recipe inspired by runway trends, with an emphasis on Metro’s local foods and seasonal produce.
“Metro is always trying to expand its circle of partners and collaborators and this was a fun way to do it,” said Modrcin.
Outside of paid media impressions generated through Fashion Week’s ad buys, Metro was able to generate over 10 million earned media impressions via broadcast, print and digital channels last year.
“The program paid itself back in earned media alone,” said Modrcin.
Modrcin said food is playing a central role this time as well. The retailer deployed a group of brand ambassadors to sample bite-sized versions of select recipes featured in the cookbook. Metro also developed a limited-edition Fashion Week-inspired Metro lunch bag to be given out at the show.
Over 1,300 bags will be distributed along with $10 coupons that Modrcin is hoping will inspire attendees to visit a Metro near them.
Leading up to Fashion Week, Metro held a social media contest asking followers to share what sustains them during busy times in their lives. Winners were treated to VIP Fashion Week tickets, complimentary make-up and a $500 gift card to a featured designers’ boutique. They also received a private home cooking lesson from Vitiello, the chef, and a special surprise gift from Metro the night of the shows.
Modrcin said combining food with fashion works because people now experience food in ways.
“Food bloggers and chefs are becoming the new celebrities,” she says, adding that as “stuff” becomes less important to us, experiences are the new aspiration.
“We’re all now competing to show off our food expertise like we used to compete to show off our shoes,” she says. “And personally, I’m always more impressed by someone who can pull off a three course, home cooked meal for 10 and still look like a flawless host. That’s style.”