The process whereby shopping meets unusual experiences head-on is developing fast with more and more companies getting in on the act, and it’s leading to a number of travel brand-retail collaborations. The most newsworthy of these has just been announced with Sarah Jessica Parker hosting exclusive shopping tours via Airbnb’s New York City Experiences programme.
For those who book the tours, there’s huge appeal here with SJP’s status as a celebrity adding lustre to this particular tour, while her association with fashion and with NYC fashion shopping in particular boosts the link-up still further. Sex And The City may have ended in 20014 (let’s ignore the two movies for now) but Parker sums up New York fashion for many consumers. And her own SJP high-end shoe line, adds to that, of course.
The prospect of going on a shopping trip with ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ comes as Airbnb ramps up its New York Experiences generally. It lunched Harlem Experiences this spring, focusing on features like street fashion hosted by a local designer or the dance and music of the area hosted by a Spanish Harlem hip-hop artist and much more.
There are now more than 150 activities visitors can book in the city, including bee-keeping on Staten Island rooftops and meditating in Central Park.
There will only be four SJP experiences, all happening on October 6, but as a way to publicise the travel giant’s experience service (and the promote the shoe line), it’s an ingenious idea.
The SJP experience itself includes a shoe-shopping experience at Bloomingdale’s where she’ll help the visitor find the right pair of shoes from her own collection (and they’ll take shoes away as a ‘gift’), then enjoying frozen yogurt at the retailer’s Forty Carrots cafe, and a trip to the ballet. The profits will benefit the New York City Ballet, of which Parker is a board member.
Parker said that the tour “speaks to the very colourful identity that is New York.”
She’s not the only celeb that Airbnb has signed up with teen actor/dancer/musician Ansel Elgort also on board for a gym-meets-music-meets-Williamsburg-meets-German Biergarten experience.
With the number of celebrities moving into commerce growing, expect the company to lure more big names in the future. Personally, I’d sign up for a Sarah Michelle Gellar culinary-meets-vampire tour of LA.