Oakley Heats Up Miami


Oakley Women brought the heat to Miami, literally. The first day of the 2008 Oakley Women’s Media Event coincided with the hottest March day Miami has had in decades—just another reminder that the Oakley women’s brand is hotter than ever.

Shuttled by a fleet of branded Volkswagen vehicles, media personalities from around the globe trickled into the Ritz Carlton South Beach on Sunday, finding an Oakley welcome gift in their room that included ’08 apparel and a pair of Oakley’s first women’s specific sports performance eyewear, Endure™. As the dusk turned to dark, editors and fashion directors gathered at the Ritz’s beachfront terrace for a welcome reception. Most attendees resisted the lure of the neighboring South Beach clubs and opted for a good night’s rest for the upcoming morning’s boot camp.

It was still dark as dozens of women wearing Oakley athletic apparel congregated on the sand at 7am on Monday. Malcolm, the Ritz’s “tanning butler”, had already gone for a run and had more energy than all of the 60 jet-lagged women combined. An ex military trainer, Malcolm was ready to whip everyone into shape, whether they were awake or not. An hour later, the sun was up and everyone was glowing in the aftermath of a total body workout.

After breakfast, groups took turns touring the Rolling O Lab, conveniently set-up adjacent to the Ritz, where the helpful Rolling O staff enlightened editors on the benefits of Oakley’s HDO technology. Women then meandered into the beautiful outdoor sunglass suite, for a chance to see all of the new eyewear collections, including Gretchen Bleiler’s Signature Series. Everyone walked away with their favorite eyewear piece.

The afternoon commenced in The Ballroom, which was beautifully branded and had the look and feel of a Paris runway. Women’s Brand Director Jenn Bradley and Oakley’s World Champion Hurdler, Lolo Jones, presented Endure™, the world’s first female specific sports performance eyewear. Up next was Gretchen Bleiler, who introduced her new apparel collection.

“It’s so exciting to be here,” said Bleiler, who stopped in Miami before headed to Vermont for the U.S. Open. “I’ve gone through every process, from seeing the line drawings on the wall to now presenting the finished product!”

Bleiler discussed her history and collaboration with Oakley and touched on key aspects of the GB collection, from the use of the lion icon to her passion for the environment.

“It’s an issue I’ve been passionate about from the beginning,” said Bleiler of her interest in environmental issues. “My livelihood is affected by climate chance. This fully recyclable collection and eco line represent a small step towards making an impact and creating awareness.”

As soon as the DJ threw on the tunes, the lights dimmed and models showcased the entire Gretchen Bleiler collection in an absolutely amazing, impeccably executed fashion show. Editors took photos, made notes in their Oakley moleskin journals and applauded loudly.

Jenn Bradley took to the stage again to give an optics presentation that included information on Oakley goggles, sunglasses, Rx and electronics. Bradley drove home the concept of the active Oakley woman. Editors learned how Oakley is bridging the gap between style and performance. Bradley introduced the Uniquely women, with Sage Erickson in Ravishing, Leilani Gryde in Eternal, Katerina Nash in Betray, Maxine in Belong, Lolo in Breathless, Nikki Garrett in Pendant Rx and Gretchen Bleiler in her Signature Ravishing.

The women took a break and then headed to the “Swag Suites”, where they had the chance to try on a variety of pieces from the Fall ’08 collection. As the wind picked up and palm trees swayed, Oakley hosted a poolside dinner at sunset. It was a great opportunity for the editors to mingle with Oakley’s female athletes.

On Tuesday morning guests enjoyed sunrise yoga and breakfast on the terrace before heading back to “The Ballroom” for more runway action.

Meredith Feldman started the day off by discussing Oakley’s cohesive collections. She explained the levels of waterproofing in Oakley’s outerwear, the wicking properties in the golf clothing, the crushed coconut shells used in the garments to increase breathability and the innovative colors in the swim/surf line.

After another amazing runway show, Feldman introduced the ’09 lifestyle collection. She told the editors about new designer Megan Kelly and how she is helping us to find who the Oakley woman is when she’s not performing. The models finished up the morning by strutting the catwalk once more, showing the best of the Oakley women’s collection.

The afternoon was all about putting the Oakley product to the test. Half the group took off to Crandon golf course to play a round with Oakley’s Nikki Garrett. The other half hopped on a boat shuttle to a private island in the bay. Women could jet-ski, wakeboard, paddle surf, kayak or just lay in the sun. It should have been named Oakley Island—everyone was wearing Oakley swim and surf apparel, new Oakley eyewear and 50-branded breach towels covered the sand.

The event finished in style at the Florida Room at The Delano, one of the hottest spots in South Beach. Michael Jordan was present (he must have heard the Oakley crew was around) and Kelly James performed a private set. Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly—it was Spring Break after all.

The 2008 Global Women’s Media Event was one of the most successful Oakley press events to date. Editors from around the world learned exactly who the Oakley Woman is, built relationships with Oakley athletes and took home an array of Oakley apparel and eyewear. The runway show was the most elegant and well-executed portion of the event and the positive feedback from editors made it all worthwhile.

Thanks to Rebecca for donating a generous amount of jewelry for Oakley appreciation gift bags.