Clothing line Bisou Bisou has teamed with JCPenney and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to challenge student designers to "create runway style for today's modern women" in its Runway Your Way Design Challenge.
The promotion has taken over JCPenney's YouTube channel, which has about 1,500 subscribers and 2.3 million total upload views, to provide a forum for consumers to vote on their favorite design - and to drive interest in the campaign.
Michele Bohbot, creator and designer of Bisou Bisou, has been mentoring a group of twelve third-year graduate students in FIDM's International Manufacturing and Product Development program this year. The four finalists were selected based on product samples and input from the JCPenney buying team, according to a JCPenney representative.
The finalists and their garments include Jenna Goldberg, who designed a buckle wrap skirt; Jon Rosario, who designed an appliqué tank; Alyse Guercia, who designed a ruffle tunic; and Jenny McClain, who designed an embellished feather tank. All designs will be available online and in select JCPenney stores beginning in August for less than $30.
Voting happens from May 30 to June 15 on JCPenney's YouTube channel. The winning student designer will receive a $2,000 scholarship.
In addition, individuals who vote could win a trip for two to LA, plus shopping and lunch with Bohbot and a makeover from FIDM.
As of Sunday, 1377 people have submitted 1586 suggestions and 3,686 votes, per JCPenney's YouTube page. A nominal number of additional votes have also been made in the Channel Comments section.
The JCPenney rep said the contest was created to "allow talented students to showcase their fantastic work." She added the Bisou Bisou line "targets feminine, fashion forward women" and the target audience for this particular promotion is therefore "women of all ages who enjoy mixing and matching."
JCPenney's YouTube content has included celebrity interviews, behind-the-scene footage, "how-to" tutorials and user-generated material. The promotional aspect, however, is new.
A video about Runway Your Way (embedded below) has about 71,500 views. Individual videos with each of the students and their designs have about 1,000 views apiece.
The department store is also promoting the campaign on its Facebook page, which has 1.8 million likes, and it has been tweeting about it to its 16,000 followers.
The Bisou Bisou collection, which includes women's contemporary sportswear, dresses, footwear, handbags and swimwear, has been an exclusive brand at JCPenney since 2003.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.