HBO and its streaming service HBO Max continue to devise ways to execute experiential marketing events as it prepares to premiere its latest series, Genera+ion, about a group of high-school students who are exploring their identities and sexuality. HBO and HBO Max have produced several creative virtual premieres and events during the pandemic for such series as The Flight Attendant and Raised by Wolves.
For this show, HBO Max is hosting the Genera+ion Un-Fashion Showcase, a two-week pop-up installation that will run April 2-12 and live both online and at the Lab, a self-described anti-mall in Orange County, Calif. It’s one of the first pieces of experiential marketing that includes an in-person, non-drive-in event since the pandemic set in last March.
HBO Max partnered with the Los Angeles-based Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM) and Genera+ion Costume Designer Shirley Kurata to select 16 student and alumni designers. Once identified, the designers were tasked with creating bespoke fashions for the series’ eight central characters.
The showcase is designed by New York-based artist Mason Webb, with photographer Myles Loftin shooting. Webb is creating the showcase’s physical location, filling the space with columns made of colored reflective glass that will hold the eight winning looks. Loftin’s photos of the exhibit and the fashions will fill a digital content hub called “The Looks of a Genera+ion” located on culture and fashion-focused website Nylon.com
The selected designers are Ally Dechant, Sofia Elin, Esther Gaor, Robin Giles, Faith Ibrahim, Xander Shephard, Tiara Slater, and Reanne Wang. Each designer was briefed by Kurata on her creative vision for the character to which they were assigned. They then went through two rounds of feedback and review before Kurata selected one final look per character to go into production.
“Genera+ion highlights the importance of creativity, authenticity, and self-expression,” said Pia Chaozon Barlow, SVP originals marketing, HBO Max, in a statement. “We’re proud to present the Un-Fashion Showcase with those themes in mind and we can’t wait to unveil the impressive final designs helmed by the next generation of fashion designers—FIDM’s talented students and alumni, with Shirley’s guidance—for Genera+ion’s fans.”
The Un-Fashion Showcase will be on display to the public at the Lab during those April dates, with COVID-19 protocols strictly followed, as well as on Nylon.com.