Solstice Sunglasses: World Trade Center Grand Opening


Solstice Sunglasses: Westfield World Trade Center Grand Opening

Solstice Sunglasses is an international sunglasses retailer that provides fashionable eyewear for everyone. Their product library spans from top-shelf fashion labels like Chanel and Dior to stylish and affordable brands like Carrera and Polaroid.

In early 2017, Solstice Sunglasses opened a store in the new Westfield World Trade Center shopping center in New York City. They sought out an eye-catching brand awareness tactic to make their January grand opening unforgettable, and they turned to my team to make it happen.


Behind the Shades

Previous to this grand opening, my team launched the “Behind the Shades” print and interactive campaign in stores in the Southeast United States. These print ads showed fashion-forward versions of everyday problems — ice cream melting faster than you can eat it, a dog mistaking your leg for a fire hydrant, and the ever-embarrassing “toilet paper stuck to the shoe” scenario — all hidden behind the high fashion façade that only Solstice Sunglasses can provide. For the Westfield World Trade opening, we extended this Behind the Shades campaign to all nine New York City locations.

Behind the Shades Campaign
Art Direction: Aimee Brinker
Photography: Ben Brinker


The Glasses Dress

I wanted to extend the "Behind the Shades" campaign from print and interactive into guerilla marketing by creating a high-fashion stunt no eyes could miss. I decided we'd ditch the traditional paper handout, online coupon, or giveaway glib and pull off something beautiful and memorable.

First, I created a fashion sketch of a couture gown crafted entirely out of sunglasses.  It seemed like a nearly impossible idea at first, but with the help of a New York City-based guerilla marketing vendor, my sketch soon became a beautiful reality. Within a few months, two models dressed in these one-of-a-kind sunglasses dresses were taking to the streets of New York City, and the impossible dream came true.


Making it Marketable

It turned heads, solicited questions, and got people talking. But the sunglasses dress was more than just an attention-grabber. Built on a simple gridded armature, the dress was akin to a wearable product shelf. The glasses that make up the body of the dress hung freely on this armature, and were intended to be removed as exchangeable takeaways.

We designed the glasses to include custom lenses with a translucent film that makes them virtually obsolete as sunglasses. (Why would people go buy sunglasses if you just gave them some for free?) These custom lenses also worked as a coupon, encouraging recipients to "Upgrade me @ Solstice," and, “Trade me in for 25% off.” 

This activation gained a great deal of social buzz for Solstice on Instagram, and stores reported foot traffic bumps in all 9 NYC locations, seeing excited tourists and delighted locals trading in their gown glasses for Solstice shades. 


Glasses Dress Creative Direction: Amanda Cochran
Glasses Dress Construction and Photography: GoGorilla Media