As you top the stairs of the 59th Street subway station at Lexington, just adjacent to 57th, something catches your eye—it’s a stunning young woman, literally aglow in a flowing, classic skirt. As you watch, she steps onto a subway grate over the Broadway Line as a train passes fifty feet below her high heels. The rushing air from the train lifts her skirts provocatively, and she giggles as she struggles to hold her skirt down and maintain her modesty.
Are you seeing Marilyn Monroe in that magic moment which created one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century? Have you been transported back to the set of “Seven Year Itch?” Close. You’re at the exact spot. And it’s the same date, but sixty years to the day after the filming. You haven’t stumbled on the set of the 1955 classic, you’ve found Sexy Hair’s “MY MARILYN MOMENT” experience.
MY MARILYN MOMENT was Sexy Hair Concept’s homage to the 60 year anniversary of that iconic film moment. Sexy Hair is a high-end hair products company based in Los Angeles who teamed with Marilyn’s estate to mark the important anniversary. We were chosen to bring Sexy Hair’s vision to life. The high return-on-investment experiential event was launched in the upper-east side of New York City on a busy workday in front of thousands of famously jaded New Yorkers. But we got their attention.
A parade of beautiful, eclectic models stood in for the glamorous legend, each one channeling their inner Marilyn on the low-profile stage. As they stood on a real subway grate above a high-powered fan recreated from the scene, they smilingly did their best to keep their skirts in place.
The magic of the original moment was undoubtedly the result of both Marilyn’s charm and the spontaneity of the moment. Our spontaneity arose from our offer to give any woman on the street her own Marilyn Moment. Each was provided with appropriately modest, yet still daring “booty shorts” for the experience, a gift to take with them. And a surprising number of women took us up on the offer, giggling as the “passing train” blew up their skirts, as they reveled in their own spontaneity.
An average of 59,000 riders enter and exit the subway station at the adjacent Lexington & 59th Street subway station every day. Each one saw the event. Add to that number the tens of thousands of other New Yorkers streaming by on the sidewalks and the busy streets, and the impact was incalculable.
The event was immediately picked up by news outlets of all kinds. Beauty Launchpad Magazine (a key demographic for Sexy Hair) included a feature photo spread on the event in their next issue. New York City television news stations picked up the event, exposing it to millions of people in the greater New York City area. Certainly, the return was all out of proportion to the investment. But perhaps the one New York minute that summed up the entire event happened right in front of our eyes:
Screaming down Lexington Avenue, an ambulance turned left onto 57th Street at the very moment one of our models was “on stage” in the midst of her Marilyn Moment. The ambulance driver caught sight of her, did a double-take, and shut down his siren, slowing to a crawl. He crept by at a walking pace as he and his partner gawked from the cab, obviously enjoying the view. After they passed the stage, they turned the siren back on and accelerated out to the call.
It takes a lot to “blow New Yorkers’ skirts up”. But we did it.