More ways to live like a geisha!

First cosmetics, now kimono sleeves: Sony hopes "Geisha" tie-ins will sell movie tickets.

By Hillary Frey
Published December 6, 2005 4:13PM (EST)

In late October, Broadsheet noted that Fresh cosmetics was introducing a special line of beauty products "inspired by the film 'Memoirs of a Geisha,'" which opens this Friday. Turns out that Shimmer Powder with Crushed Pearl was only the beginning. According to the Los Angeles Times, we can expect the next few weeks to be a veritable geishapalooza, with kimono-sleeved smocks invading selected Banana Republic stores, shoes and handbags emblazoned with abstract geisha images peeking out from boutique racks, and even special "Memoirs of a Geisha" tea (cherry-blossom scented) being steamed at your local Barnes & Noble.

It's a new kind of marketing strategy. Ditching the traditional logoed T-shirts and baseball hats, Sony Pictures hopes these new tie-in products will "expand the moviegoing experience by adding scent, taste and touch" and inspire more than geisha style: Execs hope a little Rice Face Wash will make ladies actually want to see the film. Evidently, trailers don't inspire women to see certain movies, but spending money on overpriced junk just might!

Whether it shows great confidence in "Memoirs of a Geisha" -- or great insecurity -- that Sony has gone to such lengths to promote its film is subject to debate. But one thing seems certain: If kimono sleeves are your thing, bust out your blousey blouses now. Broadsheet hears they're not too hot for 2006.

Hillary Frey

Hillary Frey is the Books editor at Salon.

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