So you’re elbowing your way through the crowd at one of the world’s biggest music festivals and a stranger comes up and asks if you’d like to be a lingerie model. Right here, right now.
Do you: A) scream and run away; B) call the police; or C) ask if you get to keep the product?
If the brand involved is Hanky Panky, chances are you’d answer C.
The popular New York-based company known for its colorful stretch lace thongs sent a photographer into the streets of Austin, Texas this week for a bit of guerrilla marketing, asking patrons of the SXSW music festival to pose for the brand on the spot. And yes, they got paid in underwear.
“Everyone we approached on the street, they all knew who Hanky Panky was,” photographer Becky Yee told Lingerie Talk. “But a dozen girls still said no.”
Becky and an assistant sought out prospective models on Austin streets and got them to change into some of Hanky Panky‘s more streetworthy pieces in the bathrooms of nearby bars.
The impromptu shoots typically drew a crowd, as Becky photographed the amateur models on the street, in bars and atop a giant model of Austin’s mascot, the jackalope. The images of Hanky Panky‘s ad hoc “Panty Parade” were posted on the brand’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
The project, which Becky proposed to Hanky Panky only a few days before the start of SXSW Music, is another example of brands using non-professional models and social media tools in their marketing mix in an effort to connect with customers’ lifestyles. SXSW is a coveted launch platform for brands, thanks to its cutting-edge mix of indie films, musical acts and interactive technologies.
Becky, a fashion and culture photographer who shoots at festivals around the world, got the idea for a guerrilla lingerie shoot after trying something similar last summer at the Sonar festival in Barcelona — except that time the models were asked to pose in designer RTW fashions.
Becky was already booked to go to SXSW this week as the official photographer for The Zombies, and looked for a lingerie brand to partner with.
“I approached a bunch of underwear companies to try something like this and they all thought I was crazy,” she said. “I”m so happy Hanky Panky believed in me.”
Given the public nature of the shoot, Becky didn’t use any of Hanky Panky‘s famous thongs or other garments considered too racy, instead featuring the brand’s bright lace crop tops, camisole, bike shorts and boyshorts.
And some of the shots required a bit of improvisation. To complete the image below, she convinced a bystander to lend them her cowboy hat “by offering to buy them a beer.”
The music portion of SXSW wraps up on Sunday. Becky said she is hoping to try shooting another “panty parade” at other upcoming festivals like Coachella, Iceland Airwaves and New York’s Governors Ball.
Here are a few more images from this unique project.