The brand, owned by Newell Rubbermaid, will open a Sharpie DIY Lounge during the shows and invite attendees to decorate plain white apparel and accessories, including headbands, skinny ties, fashion bags, bracelets, and sunglasses. Then on Sept. 14, a Sharpie spokeswoman says, Betsey Johnson will make an appearance, finishing a t-shirt she has already designed in front of the crowd. "Johnson's design echoes the customization trend, letting wearers complete the design she started on the shirt by adding their own Sharpie style," the spokesperson says.
Johnson, a breast cancer survivor, will also create a Sharpie sketch in honor of breast cancer awareness, which, along with sketches by other designers, will go to the City of Hope, the Los Angeles-based cancer research center. Plans call for the fashionable sketches to be auctioned off as part of the fund-raising activities during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Sharpie has a long-standing partnership with the organization, and already donates proceeds from the sale of its Sharpie Pink breast cancer markers.
To encourage attendees to pick up a pen and let their hair down, the company says, Erica Domesek, its style expert and founder of the DIY brand "P.S. I made this. . .," will be on hand.
Sharpie, which has made a name for itself among doodlers and autograph hounds alike, also says it is designing personalized markers for many of the designers, featuring logos imprinted on the marker barrels, with plenty of bright colors - pinks, purples and magenta - available.
To promote its DIY Lounge, Newell Rubbermaid is running full-page ads in The Daily Front Row, the trade show's paper.