Entertainment23 March 2022
Dearest Reader. As we prepare to welcome back Queen Charlotte and her royal subjects for the second season of Bridgerton, we cordially invite you to take part in the merriment. The latest six-piece cosmetic collection from Pat McGrath Labs’ exclusive Pat McGrath X Bridgerton line or Bloomingdale’s Bridgerton-inspired tableware collection from designer Sheila Bridges and Wedgwood will make you feel like you’re enjoying high tea with the Queen herself. And what would this kind of celebration be without a ball? The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience will welcome guests beginning March 24 at the esteemed Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.
In advance of these celebrations, yours truly rang upon Josh Simon, Netflix’s vice president of consumer products, to discuss how his team partners with brands large and small to extend Netflix stories into areas like apparel, toys, housewares, and immersive experiences; how the Queen’s Ball will transport visitors to the regal and romantic world of Regency-era London; and what’s next.
Tell us about the Queen’s Ball.
The Queen’s Ball immerses visitors in the world of Bridgerton balls, romance, fashion and music. Attendees are greeted by the voice of Lady Whistledown and actors in full Regency attire. They sip Bridgerton-themed cocktails, visit a portrait studio, learn dance steps from the period and compete to win the Queen’s favor as a string quartet plays music inspired by the series. It’s your chance to experience Bridgerton as if you were truly there. And one lucky attendee might just shine enough to be named Diamond of the Season.
Why do you think Bridgerton is a good fit for these kinds of extensions?
With Bridgerton, Shondaland created a fully-realized fictional universe that’s as fun to experience in real life as it is to see on screen. Fans have connected with every aspect of the series, from the characters to the costume design to the art and set design and soundtrack. They are so taken with the sights, sounds and romance of the world of Bridgerton that when we launched the experience in London, many came dressed in period costume, and at least one couple actually got engaged there.
What’s the best part about your job?
I love how much we embrace innovation and creative risk-taking as part of our culture – and I see that come to life with something like the Queen’s Ball. This is a totally new type of immersive experience. As such, there’s always a risk of failure. But I love how much our team, working quickly and in very close partnership with the series’ creators, are willing to bring a new form of storytelling to fans.
How do you decide what partnerships and products to move forward with, like for Bridgerton?
We always want the products we create to feel completely authentic to our fans. In the early stages, we ask ourselves whether a given product line or experience allows a viewer to explore the world more deeply, express their fandom, or extends the story in compelling ways. (I’m currently sipping a delicious cup of Queen’s Cake tea as I write this.) We’re not just looking to create more “stuff.” Working with Dame Pat McGrath, who is such an innovative force in the beauty space, is the epitome of this mindset – Pat McGrath Labs cosmetics were used by the entire cast during filming, and Bridgerton actor Nicola Coughlan serves as muse for the new collection.
Why do you think there’s an appetite for these kinds of products and experiences?
We put a lot of care into choosing our consumer products based on series and films we believe will have the greatest impact with fans – titles like Stranger Things, Squid Game, The Witcher, Money Heist (La Casa de Papel) and of course Bridgerton. We’ve expanded our team around the world but have stayed focused on curating unique and authentic products for our members, through retail experiences that meet fans where they are, from Walmart and Target to Netflix.shop. These products help bridge the gap between seasons and create a year-round point of connection for our members to express their love of our shows and connect with other fans.
What’s next for the consumer product and experiences team?
A big part of our goal is to create experiences that can travel. We’re excited to bring the Queen’s Ball to Washington D.C., Chicago, and Montreal. And we’ll soon announce cities around the world both for Stranger Things: The Experience and our Stranger Things retail experience, along with a ton of exciting new products, to coincide with the premiere of Stranger Things 4 in May.
The Queen’s Ball: A Bridgerton Experience opens March 24 at the Millenium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. Get your tickets here. Bridgerton Season 2 premieres March 25.
Download photos from the experience here.