The stunt occurred this fall when influential social media fashionistas were invited to check out the disguised Payless pop-up, which the company named “Palessi.”
Very fancy sounding.
“We wanted to do something provocative. We wanted to get Payless back into the cultural discourse,” Doug Cameron, the founder of DCX Growth Accelerator, which created the campaign, told The Washington Post.
And, sure enough, these influencers appear to have been completely fooled, praising the high-end look and quality of shoes marked as high as $1,800, but which normally retail for $20 to $40, according to the Post.
Once the attendees purchased their shoes, however, they were taken into a back room where the prank was revealed, and they were given the shoes for free.
Bravo, Payless. Bravo.
Below are some photos from the night documented on Payless’ Palessi Instagram account.