Kleenex makes toilet paper fashionable

How do you make toilet paper stand out on the supermarket aisle, and even make it seem fashionable? In 2009, Kleenex enlisted the help of some aspiring fashion designers to whip up catwalk creations out of Cottonelle toilet paper. And they’ve done it again for the 2011 NZ Fashion Week. 
Apparently 25,000 metres of Kleenex Cottonelle toilet paper and 22 dress style later 3 were chosen to grace the runways of fashion week.

“Once again the Kleenex Cottonelle Couture Collection adds a novel and excitingly creative aspect to the Designer Selection shows at NZ Fashion Week. We congratulate the three chosen designers and expect to see much more of their work in future…” 

~ CEO of NZFW Pieter Stewart   

The 2009 version has won Apollo Marketing New Zealand two gold awards the APMA (Australian Promotional Marketers Assoc.) in the categories of most innovative idea/concept and best sponsorship/tie in campaign. 

“the 2009 campaign resulted in direct impacts on baseline sales. But he says there’s always a challenge in converting the attention garnered by the dresses into actual purchases.  

The key challenge moving forward is how we bring the images of these dresses to point of purchase to create more connections. This year we are trialling a number of different mechanics including striking gondola-end displays, messages on shopping trolleys, aisle fins and floor media. These will give us strong steers on each media device’s effectiveness and how we can amplify our story even further in 2012…” 

~ Jason Biggs, Senior Brand Manager Kimberly-Clark New Zealand

I do love this tie-in campaign and these dresses beautifully show the talent of these young designers, however some of the magic was dispelled when I read this quote by one of the designers, Emily Menzies. I think the whole concept hangs on the fabric being authentically “toilet paper” not some sort of “fused fabric”…  
“The toilet paper-fused fabric we were working with was great as it didn’t fray. I could run it through the machine ten times and it wasn’t an issue.”

The Winning Designs 

Rachel Duval – Gentle Waves 

Duval described her dress inspiration as fun, young and sophisticated with influences from the glamour of the ‘50s. Her inspiration came from the “gentle foamy waves of the sea.” Rachael contoured sea anemone and clam shell shapes into the curved layering of her effervescent paper-fused dress, earning unanimous praise from the judges.
Imagines her dress in bright orange





Juvena Worsfold – Your Song 

Worsfold’s creation was inspired by the Elton John ballad ‘Your Song’. Just as the song evokes love, Worsfold wanted to express the words ‘I love you’ with the language and symbolism of her dress. Each hand-stenciled shape tells a different part of a romantic story, finished with petals and turtle doves edging an elegantly scooped back. Worsfold describes her dress simply as: “sweet and surprising.” 
Imagines her dress in black leather or blush pink 





Emily Menzies – With a twist 

Menzies started her fashion education at NZ Fashion Tech at age 15, and saw it as a means of learning the technical aspects of her main passion—car upholstery. Working with 42 lineal metres of toilet paper, she meticulously edged the outer perimeter of 7 layers of cascading under-skirt. The cheeky, undulating over-dress completes a work of “brilliance” according to the judges. 

Imagines her dress in red or black satin  



2nd life 
As well being strutted down the runway, the dresses will be replicated using real fabric and have recently sold on Trade Me. The auction winner also will receive a fashion show ticket and accompany the designer to see the toilet paper version strut down the runway. You can view the auctions below. 
Credits
Photos and designer backgrounds sourced from: NZ Fashion Tech 

First envied at: Idealog

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