This year’s Cashmere Collection is designed to have mask appeal

Who: Kruger Products, with Strategic Objectives for PR, John St. for ad creative and Wavemaker for media, with additional support from Bell Media.

What: The 17th annual Cashmere Collection, a fashion show of creations made from Cashmere bathroom tissue, to raise money during Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October. The theme this year is “Masquerade Ball,” so yeah, toilet paper and face masks. Very 2020.

When & Where: The show is Sept. 29 in Toronto, with a heavy PR push and fully integrated ad campaign closer to the event and during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. How the show will be presented is still up in the air because of social distancing challenges. “We’re scenario planning,” says Susan Irving, chief marketing officer at Kruger Products.

Why: Seventeen years is a long time for a marketing campaign, but the fashion show and the fight against breast cancer have become tightly connected to the Cashmere Bathroom Tissue brand, says Irving. It’s an important cause to support from a CSR perspective, while the fashions themselves support the brand attributes of soft and strong, she says. “Fundamentally it is part of the brand… the entire team at Kruger has done a phenomenal job at figuring out how to keep the right aspects entrenched, but then reinventing it every year.”

How: Kruger still hopes to have an in-person event with limited attendees, but that will be based entirely on what is permissible at that point and what is considered safe. Regardless, the show will be streamed online for the first time. “We are excited about that because it will give us a bigger reach,” says Irving.

The fashion show itself is being curated by celebrity stylist Joe Zee, with 15 accomplished designers putting together their gowns inspired by Venetian masquerade balls of the 16th century. The theme, while very au courant, was actually chosen last November, way before COVID became a global pandemic.

Did they have any concern about the connection to masks? “For us, we actually saw it as a positive in terms of making masks fashionable,” said Irving. “We started talking about the fact the masquerade ball presents the perfect opportunity to celebrate the importance of face masks and to recognize that they also bring us together, not keep us apart.”

And we quote: “The ball gowns and the intricate masks that these designers have done are drop dead gorgeous, but on top of that, who knew that masks—once meant as symbol of mystery and intrigue—have really emerged a symbol of safety and saving lives.” —Susan Irving, Kruger Products CMO.

David Brown