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'Plump' Diet Pepsi Cans Fizzle at Fashion Week

By Serena Solomon | September 13, 2012 6:47am

LINCOLN CENTER — The scene couldn't have been more perfect for marketing one of the official sponsors of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week — leggy, smiling and stylish guests leaving runway shows clutching a "Skinny Can" of Diet Pepsi.

That was until the popular soda's traditionally short and stumpy sister can turned up to ruin the party.

"Get me the tall and skinny and cold one," said fashion industry employee Ariel Kochbar, as a friend went to choose between the two types of free cans in a Fashion Week refrigerator.

"It just looks more fashionable," said Kochbar, with a laugh.

Tall, slender and stylish herself, the Fashion Week attendee embodied the same qualities as the Diet Pepsi can she held.

"Why would you want the short, plump one?" she joked.

The two cans contain the same amount of Diet Pepsi — 12 ounces —  but are completely different shapes. The Skinny Can was the only shape of can offered for the first six days of Fashion Week, but on Wednesday, the more stout can appeared in Fashion Week fridges.

When the discrepancy was pointed out, a worker at the tents speculated that the wrong delivery had ended up at the Lincoln Center event, resulting in the wider cans being stocked in Fashion Week fridges.

Pepsi launched its "Skinny Can" at Fall 2011 Fashion Week in February of last year.

"In a celebration of beautiful, confident women, Diet Pepsi presents the taller, sassier new Skinny Can," read a press release, noting the drink's absence of sugar, calories and carbs.

Each Fashion Week since then, the Skinny Can has been offered for free at the event.

This isn't the first style gaffe for Diet Pepsi, according to one eagle-eyed attendee.

"It happened last Fashion Week, too," said Samantha Aldenton, 21, a photographer for style forecaster WGSN.  She noticed that toward the end of Fashion Week in February 2012, the wider can began to appear.

"It is funny that I even know that — just a casual observation," she said. "I think it's a lot more chic, like a model."

Pepsi did not return requests for comment.

Hadi Khan, a model, actor and host attending runways shows, called Pepsi's can plan "appropriate" for Fashion Week.

"It is great marketing," he said. "When else are fashionistas going to care what type of can they are drinking from?"