Style notes: Crane stationery hits big time at MTV Video Music Awards


Pop megastars Beyonce and Rihanna left Sunday's MTV Video Music Awards with more then statuettes — they also went home with a little piece of the Berkshires.

Three different types of Crane & Co. engraved correspondence cards, made at Crane Stationery in North Adams, were included for the first time in the gift bags given to the celebrity sponsors, presenters and performers at this year's performance, one of the music industry's biggest events.

Crane also was the official stationery partner for the event.

"It's a big cultural moment and we were thrilled with the press that the gift bag got," said company President Katie Lacey.

It was a coup for Crane Stationery, which became a separate company at the end of 2015 when it was spun off from Crane Currency. The stationery division's roots go back to when Dalton-based Crane was founded in 1801. But as Crane's currency operations continued to outpace the rest of the company, officials last December turned the stationery division over to its employees so that it could operate as a separate firm under the Crane name.

The move has given Crane Stationery the opportunity to explore new markets, company president Katie Lacey said.

"It's not that we weren't doing this as part of Crane Currency," Lacey said. "But now we are very focused as an organization in increasing our reach and providing products and points of distribution to put our products in front of more people."

One of the producers of the MTV Video Music Awards contacted Crane about having its items included in this year's celebrity gift bag, Lacey said.

"We are always open to partnerships and sponsorships and collaborations," she said. "When we were approached we thought that it was a great idea, a chance to get our product in front of a new audience.

Besides the three samples of Crane stationery, this year's celebrity gift bag also included Bose wireless headphones, the new perfume "Crush by Rihanna," a one-of-a-kind made-to-measure suit by Indochino, two-night stays at both the Nobu Hotel Miami Beach and the JW Marriott Essex House in New York City, custom designed Infinity 4PS controllers for Playstation 4, MCM designer sunglasses and an exclusive MTV "tote and tee" by fashion designer Marc Jacobs, among others.

Beyonce also cleaned up at the podium, winning eight awards, including Video of the Year; Rihanna won twice.

Crane doesn't know if any celebrities have actually used their free stationery samples yet.

"No feedback," Lacey said. "We were not in attendance at the event."

But just being part of the gift bag was exciting in itself.

"I think we are both honored and excited," Lacey said. "MTV is a cultural phenomenon. It's a huge honor and we're thrilled to be part of it."

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413 496-6224.


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