Made to Measure, a video network owned and programmed by entertainment agency WME/IMG, is taking on fashion as educational entertainment full time.
The channel, which can be accessed on streaming services and a mobile app, is comprised of interview series, deep dives into the pre-fashion show processes of international designers, and fashion documentaries that are hard to find on the web. Now with its third New York Fashion Week season coming up, the network, which goes by M2M for short, is taking its first big step into branded content with a year-long series.
The branded video series is a partnership with Maybelline, the mass-market makeup brand that has been a sponsor of New York Fashion Week since 2009. With M2M, Maybelline is attaching its name to a video series called “Beauty Alchemist” that will premiere during September’s New York Fashion Week this year, February next year, and then next September again. The series will be based around the unique perspective that beauty brands have during fashion week: a behind-the-scenes viewpoint of a variety of fashion shows, a close relationship with the models who are dashing on and off catwalks, and a critical eye on different designer collections, with which they have to match equally trendy cat eyes, bold lips and more.
M2M’s approach to fashion content, branded or not, is to provide a “new kind of access,” said Susan Hootstein ,M2M’s executive producer and head of programming. The network believes that the noise around fashion week is filled too much with chatter about who’s sitting front row and who’s being photographed outside on the street. Hootstein said that the goal for its original content is to show a different side of fashion week beyond what’s covered on social media and online, namely, focusing on the designers and the industry’s position in culture at large. Across its programming, M2M aims to broaden fashion week coverage story for an audience that appreciates fashion and the culture around it.
With its first branded content series being a partnership with a beauty brand, the team also wanted to rethink the most popular beauty video format: the tutorial.
“People have all seen the blogger-style content now,” said Hootstein. “In the zeitgeist, we’re passing that by and moving on. What stories aren’t told? For fashion, it’s not that Kanye West is sitting front row, it’s the stories around the designer. For “Beauty Alchemist,” we wanted to try something different than all the million how-tos that the viewer already knows.”
The series will be focused on fashion week models both backstage and off duty. They’ll be wearing Maybelline product, but the videos won’t show much product placement.
“The idea is that you can remove the product from the content all together and it would still be something you’d want to watch,” said Hootstein. “With Maybelline, they’re an accessible, very popular brand. We wanted to take that and, not exactly discard it, but elevate it with a new narrative.”
For Maybelline, the series provides a chance to demonstrate the brand’s role in New York Fashion Week, an event that has long seen Mac as the go-to makeup brand for fashion shows.
“The series we’re debuting this season will give our consumer a behind the scenes look at what Maybelline is all about during New York Fashion Week,” said David Greenberg, president of Maybelline New York. “We’re excited to bring a beauty-focused lens to fashion and reinforce Maybelline’s connection to fashion week.”