Business of Marketing

Introducing Gaga’s Workshop at Barneys New York

December 6, 2011
Digital Surgeons

On November 22 Barneys New York unveiled GAGA’S WORKSHOP, taking over the entire 5,500 square foot men’s division on the fifth floor of their flagship Madison Avenue Store. Digital Surgeons partnered with Atom Digital on strategic planning, creative direction and digital execution of the online activities led by a dynamic micro site, experiential QR code program, social integration and a custom Foursquare special and badge.

In honor of this special project Barneys New York is proud to donate 25 percent of sales from all items featured in GAGA’S WORKSHOP to the Born This Way Foundation which was recently founded by Lady Gaga and her mother. The Born This Way Foundation focuses on youth empowerment and equality by addressing issues like self-confidence, well-being, anti-bullying, mentoring and career development and will utilize digital mobilization as one of the means to create positive change.

Gaga's Workshop Ribbon Cutting At Barneys New York With Lady Gaga
Gaga’s Workshop Ribbon Cutting At Barneys New York With Lady Gaga


A take on Santa’s iconic workshop, the project has been realized through the eyes of renowned creative talents: Lady Gaga, Nicola Formichetti, and Eli Sudbrack and assume vivid astro focus (avaf) in collaboration with Barneys’ creative director Dennis Freedman. In true Lady Gaga fashion, GAGA’S WORKSHOP is not a traditional holiday destination, but rather a unique and individual celebration of the universality of gift giving and charity during the holiday season.

A multi-faceted celebration, GAGA’S WORKSHOP includes: a fantastically transformed retail environment, holiday windows, a dedicated Gaga interactive website, and limited-edition, exclusive products created in collaboration with Lady Gaga under the creative direction of Nicola Formichetti with artists Eli Sudbrack and Christophe Hamaide Pierson of assume vivid astro focus (avaf).

From elaborate art installations, vivid colors and bold patterns designed by avaf, to exclusive one- of-a-kind products created specially for the Workshop by Barneys New York, GAGA’S WORKSHOP will be a holiday treat for shoppers of all ages.

Taking over the entire, 5500-square foot, fifth floor of the Madison Avenue Men’s store, The Workshop is divided into elaborate structural shops, such as a jewelry shop created out of an oversized Lady Gaga-turned-spider and a boudoir in the shape of a giant wig. Working with the Barneys New York team, Eli Sudbrack and avaf have designed giant sculpture installations as well as signature artwork for GAGA’S WORKSHOP which is featured on special holiday shopping bags and packaging.

In addition to conceptualizing a Gaga holiday destination within Barneys New York, Eli Sudbrack and avaf have also designed a giant façade that has taken over the 60th Street entrance to the store. Designed to create the illusion of walking into the mouth of a giant monster-like Lady Gaga, this entrance is the gateway to GAGA’S WORKSHOP. “GAGA’S WORKSHOP is the largest and most completely realized holiday project ever undertaken in the history of Barneys New York and we are beyond thrilled to present it this season,” said Mark Lee, Barneys’ Chief Executive Officer. “We hope to raise significant funds to benefit the Born This Way Foundation and we thank Lady Gaga, Nicola Formichetti, Eli Sudbrack and avaf, as well as all of the collaborators and vendors who have worked so hard to make this holiday initiative come to life.”

Gaga's Workshop Ribbon Cutting At Barneys New York With Lady Gaga
Gaga’s Workshop Ribbon Cutting At Barneys New York With Lady Gaga

About The Online Experience

New Haven based digital marketing agency Digital Surgeons built the microsite for the GAGA’S WORKSHOP campaign and seized the opportunity to create something unique for the digital component. The online teaser component consisted of the 12 Days of Gaga which released one collection product each day leading up to the November 21 launch of the full collection and opening of GAGA’S WORKSHOP at Barneys New York. Throughout the campaign, visitors to the website have the chance to win prizes through the Gaga Machine and enjoy the interactive component of the website, which includes the ability for users to insert their photo into a “workshopper” monster. Visitors can also visit the social media tab which updates to reflect recent conversation associated with the campaign hashtag #gagasworkshop. The site is also instrumental in connecting the various campaign aspects with the “Attend” section, which contains photos from the experiential street team stunts, launch party and the workshop itself.

  The numbers are still rolling in for this campaign, which will run through January 2 when the workshop closes, but Digital Surgeons is thrilled with the initial results. The website has already been chosen for the FWA public shortlist, an honor that represents the true originality and creativity of the website.

About Atom Digital

Atom Digital is the cutting-edge, full-service marketing company which spearheaded the innovative digital and experiential marketing campaigns supporting Gaga’s Workshop. These initiatives included the oversight of interactive elements on the barneys.com microsite, giant inflatable street installations, and the flash choir and dance performances around the city. For more information about AtomDigital, please visit: www.atomdigital.com

As of November 22, GAGA’S WORKSHOP will operate during normal Barneys’ store hours through January 2nd with access to the Workshop through the 60th street entrance of the Madison Avenue flagship store in New York City.

About Digital Surgeons

Digital Surgeons a marketing agency that specializes in all things digital and is responsible for the design and development of the GAGA’S WORKSHOP digital experience. Digital Surgeons led the strategic and creative thinking behind the website, including the Gaga Machine which expanded the experience by hiding codes on Barneys.com and other properties to drive regular Barneys customers to the GAGA’S WORKSHOP website. Part of maintaining the digital experience includes keeping track of the traffic across Barneys properties and analyzing conversation and sentiment across the web. Digital Surgeons was also the driving forces in the creation of the GAGA’S WORKSHOP Foursquare badge and has continued to impact the social media efforts behind the entire campaign. 

About Barneys New York

BARNEYS NEW YORK (Barneys) is a luxury specialty retailer with flagship stores in New York City, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, Dallas, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and Scottsdale. Founded as a men’s retailer in 1923 in downtown Manhattan it turned into an international arbiter of high style for both women and men in the 1970s and became renowned for discovering and developing new and innovative design talent. Barneys is famous for selling the most intriguing edit from the world’s top designers including women’s and men’s ready-to-wear, accessories, shoes, jewelry, cosmetics, fragrances, and gifts for the home. Barneys’ signature sense of wit and style is manifested in its creative advertising campaigns, original holiday themes, and celebrated window displays. Barneys’ innovative CO-OP, a mecca for young and emerging designers, was launched in 1985 and has since expanded into a freestanding store concept. Barneys operates more than a dozen CO-OP stores in eight states across the U.S. For more information about Barneys New York please visit www.barneys.com.

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