Fashion’s Perfect Fit: FYSH UK and Jeanne Beker!

By Paddy Kamen

Kismet marches to the beat of its own drummer. But sometimes enchantment happens when hunches are followed and bold moves create a synergy akin to magic.

Beverly Suliteanu, WestGroupe’s vice-president of marketing and product development, envisioned a special collection within one of WestGroupe’s brands, with proceeds going back to the community. She followed her hunch and quickly realized that Canadian fashion icon Jeanne Beker would be an ideal partner. “Given FYSH UK’s ties to fashion, the not-for-profit organization Dress For Success was a natural fit and, with Jeanne Beker as one of its ambassadors, everything fell into place.  We approached Jeanne and Dress for Success this past spring to discuss a possible partnership. All parties instantly loved the idea!”

Beker is, indeed, an inspired choice, with career accomplishments as significant as they are varied. The Toronto native began as an actress, studied acting both in New York and Paris, and obtained a fine arts degree from York University. After moving into arts and entertainment reporting, Beker was chosen to host Fashion Television (FT), which has become Citytv’s most widely syndicated show with viewers in over 130 countries. Beker is now the host and producer at Fashion Television Channel, Canada’s only channel dedicated to fashion, beauty and design.

“The partnership makes perfect sense, not only because FYSH UK draws inspiration from the fashion runways, but also because its brand philosophy emphasizes the celebration of individuality and uniqueness, a message that Jeanne strongly supports,” says Suliteanu.

Suliteanu and Beker worked together to select the styles from FYSH UK’s new releases that became the Jeanne Beker collection. “Jeanne’s capsule collection features a selection of design-driven styles with an eye-catching palette,” notes Suliteanu. “There is an assortment of flattering eye shapes within the collection and each model is available in four colour options. The collection has a fashion-forward attitude, without going too wild.”

The one design that captured Beker’s attention right from the start is a retro-inspired acetate frame in a black and white zebra print with scalloped edges. This has become Jeanne Beker’s signature frame. “This model comes in solid front colours combined with the patterned temples to make it a fun and easy style to wear with any outfit. But for the ultimate fashionista, the black and white full print (front as well as the temples) will elicit the biggest reaction,” explains Suliteanu.

WestGroupe marketing campaign features a full suite of collateral and in-store point-of-sale materials, including a banner, counter card and display insert to highlight the new collection and encourage sell-through. Suliteanu says the January 2013 launch will also be supported with trade and consumer advertising, a mailer to be distributed to retailers promoting the collection, as well as an email campaign highlighting the signature collection. A special section will be devoted to the collection on the FYSH UK website (, including a promotional video featuring highlights from the campaign photo shoot. A comprehensive public relations and social media program includes real-time fan engagement via WestGroupe’s online platforms, national media outreach and a media launch event that took place in Toronto last November with Beker in attendance, along with Envision: seeing beyond magazine publisher, Martine Breton. With coverage on CTV’s etalk and tweets from Flare magazine, the media ‘buzz’ has begun; bloggers and fashion enthusiasts alike are sharing their excitement about this stylish new collection both on and offline.

A portion of the sales from this capsule collection will be donated to a charity close to Jeanne Beker’s heart – Dress for Success, which is dedicated to empowering women and inspiring them to put their best foot forward in attitude and dress.