How to Score Back-to-School Brand Buzz

With summer winding down (say it isn’t so!), many kids and college students are heading back to school this month, making it a busy time of year for retail. According to a recent survey from the National Retail Federation, people will spend about $26.5 billion on back-to-school items. The average family will spend just over $669 on things like supplies, clothing and electronics. College students and their parents will spend an average $916.

With so many choices for back-to-school style and supplies, how can brands make it to the head of the class when it comes to back-to-school shopping? At Curator, we have the pleasure of working closely with 17 Simon properties located throughout the Western U.S., and back-to-school efforts are at full steam.

Here are some great tips from Simon, as a resource for back-to-school cool, on how to build up that seasonal brand buzz:

1. Show off the goods: As a global leader in retail real estate, one great move Simon has made this year is to align with Teen Vogue, the number one source of fashion, beauty and pop-culture news for trendsetting teens. Simon has partnered with Teen Vogue for an exclusive style guide, featuring fashion looks curated by style experts. Shoppers can pick up the guide at their local Simon Mall, or access it online at

Trend Report

2. Mix fashion and music: Nearly 80 Simon Malls across the country have also partnered with Teen Vogue in collaboration with their “Back-to-School Saturdays” initiative for “ABC’s of Style” events throughout this month, which feature Teen Vogue fashion shows, editor appearances, musical performances, celebrity meet-and-greets, special deals & offers and more, all in preparation to head back to class.

Teen Vogue Kickoff at Del Amo Fashion Center

(Credit: Getty Images)

Teen Vogue kicked off BTSS at Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance, CA on Friday with another fashion show showcasing with the hottest back-to-school trends for fall (hosted by Teen Vogue Editor-in-Chief Amy Astley and Debby Ryan, star of Disney Channel’s Jessie) and paired it with a musical performance by The Janoskians. The intersection of music and fashion is always a great way to infuse excitment into heading back to school, by encouraging families to have fun while ticking through their back-to-school shopping lists.

Check out a clip on Good Day LA featuring some of the popular looks for this season that also were displayed on the runway at Del Amo Fashion Center.

In Southern California, ABCs of Style events are taking place at the following Simon Malls:

Brea Mall: Friday, August 22 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Highlights include a fashion show, giveaways and a musical performance by pop/rock band Before You Exit.

Del Amo Fashion Center: Saturday, August 23 from noon to 4 p.m. Highlights include a fashion show, giveaways and a musical performance and meet-and-greet with British band Rixton.

3. Give back through social: Engaging with shoppers directly through social media channels like Twitter and Instagram is a great way to amplify the conversation around back-to-school by showcasing Simon Malls as the best resource to find fashionable outfits for a new school year. This year, shoppers can impress Simon with their Back-to-School looks using the hashtags #foundationsimon and #contest to be entered to win a $500 Simon shopping spree. The entry period kicked off during this back-to-school season, and all entries must be received by December 31, 2014. Official rules are available here:

Simon social

Did Simon make the grade this back-to-school season? Tweet us wth your thoughts @CuratorPR.