중앙데일리

‘Sex and the City’ craze crosses into Seoul businesses

June 04,2008
Kim Eun-yeong, 27, public relations manager of luxury shoe brand Manolo Blahnik, has endured a hectic schedule recently.

With the upcoming release of the movie “Sex and the City” - originally a hit American romantic comedy TV series ? Kim is going all over town to promote a shoe exhibition that features creations by the Spanish designer.

The brand is now one of the most recognizable names in the fashion world thanks to the Emmy Award-winning show centering around four single women living in New York.

“We already have a long waiting list for the Manolo Blahnik shoes that Carrie [the main character of Sex and the City played by Sarah Jessica Parker] wore in the movie,” Kim said.

The hit series first aired on Korean cable in 2004 and since, has served as a sort of bible for single women in their 20s and 30s who are not afraid to spend money on themselves.

Luxury brand managers constantly cite the series as changing premium marketing in Korea.

There is the “brunch” trend for example.

In the drama, Carrie and her three girlfriends are shown chatting and enjoying brunch on weekends.

And since 2005, brunch cafes started opening one by one, mainly around the Cheongdam-dong area and the Jeongja area in Gyeonggi.

Hong Jae-gyeong, branch manager of the New York-style restaurant Gramercy Kitchen in Cheongdam-dong said, “Almost half of my customers are single women with two or three of their girlfriends.”

Luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo has also seen the light with the drama’s run.

“The show was the ultimate free publicity,” said Lee A-yeon, public relations manager for Jimmy Choo in Korea.

With the movie version set to open in Korea tomorrow, companies are busy taking full advantage of the release.

Cinema Service, the distributing company for the movie here, has joined with 15 local companies, including Hana Tour, Make Up For Ever and Olive Young, for marketing.

The distributing company said 50 other firms have bought movie tickets and are running their own promotional events.

The Westin Chosun Hotel in Seoul will offer a “Shopping Sex and the City” package throughout this month.

The package includes a suite room, tickets to the movie and dessert coupons for Shinsegae Department Store’s cafe.

“We included everything that single women show interest in,” said Ahn Ju-yeon, manager at the hotel.

Crystal brand Swarovski is offering a Sex and the City promotion in 120 countries where it has stores.

Customers who spend 300,000 won ($295) or more get free tickets to the movie.

Some people, however, say the series has sparked a streak of vanity in single women and relate this demographic to the term doenjang nyeo, or bean paste girl, which refers to vain women who strive to live a “New York” lifestyle.

“Among male college students, the drama is seen as encouraging excessive shopping habits and a luxurious lifestyle,” said Lee Won-ryong, 32, a single businessman in Seoul.



By Lim Mi-jin JoongAng Ilbo [jainnie@joongang.co.kr]



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