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"That's a Hailey original. Don't try to jack my style!" model Hailey Baldwin told a small crowd as she finished creating her personalized accessory at the debut of Soho's newest pop-up shop. The store might have the lowest price point in the entire neighborhood, since you can walk out with an item that's supposedly beloved by models, actresses, and It Girls like Baldwin for under $10 — customized, too!
But the rush of the deal is fleeting. Within minutes, it's melted.
Baldwin had been called upon on Wednesday to attract members of the media to the new Magnum New York store, where you can customize your own Magnum Ice Cream bar with your choice of dipping — white, milk, and dark chocolate —and luxurious toppings like rose petals, goji berries, and gold flakes. (That "Hailey original," by the way, is a white Belgian chocolate coating covered with cornflower petals, chocolate-covered sunflower seeds, and chocolate cookie crumbles.) The final product is laid down in what looks like a jewelry box top and costs $7, slightly more expensive than a full-sized cup of yogurt from the Chobani café down the block.
There's plenty of couches and seating for hanging in the rather large brown-and-gold adorned Prince Street shop, which is just steps away from stores like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Balmain. Being 2016, it's a space full of features just waiting to be Instagrammed, from its tiled foyer with black-and-white bars under glass cases displayed like rare jewelry to the wooden sticks that anchor the ice cream bars fashioned into a mural of a mock skyline with "NYC" underneath, also under glass. A sign with ordering instructions also gently persuades you to "Share It!" before taking a bite, with Twitter and Facebook logos swirling around an uneaten bar.
If Magnum's on the tip of your tongue and can't figure out why, perhaps it's because you saw Kendall Jenner's series of sponsored Instagrams from Cannes touting the ice cream. Or maybe you're having flashbacks of
Summer Roberts Rachel Bilson leaping across gridlocked cars on a scenic beachside highway to reach a Magnum truck. In other words, Magnum's most recognizable campaign stars are people who likely aren't consuming ice cream on the regular.
"We've had a long history tied in with fashion and entertainment" going back to its founding in 1989, explained Jon Jones, Magnum's US brand building manager. (In America, the European brand is under the Unilever umbrella, whose 400 brands include Suave, Lipton, and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter.) "We started when we launched in the United States five years ago with Rachel Bilson and Karl Lagerfeld. Since then, we've done partnerships with Zac Posen, and this past year we worked with Lubov and Max Azria."
Baldwin cited Magnum's fashion cred as her main reason for signing on with the brand, aside from the simple fact that it's just "delicious" ice cream. "It's cool the way they've done things with their commercials and their tie-ins to fashion. They worked with [fashion photographers] Mert [Alas] and Marcus [Piggott] and a lot of people that are very prevalent in fashion."
Magnum chose her to introduce the Soho store to the world because Baldwin's a New York native who shops regularly in the neighborhood — she called out the Nike Lab and Saint Laurent as her favorite stores. And according to Jones, they'll be "taking vibes from the Soho neighborhood" for the full slate of (unspecified) events planned throughout its summer run.
"We are a premium indulgence, and that mirrors what we see as a lifestyle brand — very similar to what the fashion and entertainment world delivers," Jones concluded. Whether Magnum New York becomes the city's hottest new dessert spot remains to be seen, but pretty ice cream on a stick sounds like something anyone can work into their lifestyle.