Maximum Exposure: How brands court Hollywood in the run-up to awards season
Where there is a red carpet and celebrity, there is glamour, fashion and
ultimately a transaction or two. Red carpet dressing is a business, one
that brands and designers take very seriously every award season.
No wonder the Oscars have been dubbed Oscarnomics by those in the know.
Whilst neither stylists or celebrities like to publicize their income from
wearing a certain brand on the red carpet, the credibility, validation and
promotion is worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Back in 2006 actress Charlize Theron was paid 200,000 dollars to wear
Chopard jewels to the Oscars. These sums have increased considerably with
the growth of social media channels. Jennifer Lawrence, by comparison, has
a 3 million dollar contract to wear Dior over three years.
Celebrities rarely wear brands ‘organically’
While most fashion houses like to foster the illusion celebrities are
wearing their brand organically, it is in fact usually a deal bartered
between stylist, a stylist’s agent, celebrity and the celebrity’s agent.
Every detail is meticulously prepared, from beauty to jewellery to
Endorsement deals are a way for actresses and stylists to supplement their
incomes. Again, think of Jennifer Lawrence who is tied to Dior and Blake
Lively to Gucci.
Everything has a price tag
Everything from eyelashes to nail varnish comes with a price tag, with
Instagram full of celebrity posts by brands, where anything from a lipstick
to diamond earrings is tagged and promoted.
No wonder, then, that the first and foremost question on the red carpet is
‘Who are you wearing?’ At the 75th Golden Globes in January, actresses
including both nominees and presenters wore predominantly black to protest
gender inequality and acknowledge the flood of sexual abuse allegations.
This showed the power of the clothes on the red carpet, and how far the
message resonates beyond Hollywood.
Stylists have become the middlemen between designers and actresses, and a
stylist’s agents will gladly broker a deal, hoping a luxury jewelry,
designers and beauty brand will sponsor.
And brands court celebrities far beyond the red carpet. The Oscars gift bag
is something quite unto its own. Last year the gifts were valued at 232,000
dollars, including a 10 day VIP trip to Israel, a private walking tour of
Japan (valued at 55k), laser treatment, a Haze vaporizer, and many more
expensive items that brands hope will result in celebrity endorsement.
Whilst the Oscars and Academy Awards themselves don’t authorize the gift
bags, they are circulated by a company called ‘Distintinctive Assets’ and
nobody wants to leave the party empty handed.
Photo credit: Calvin Klein, by Kevork Djansezian for Getty Images