Mary McGarry’s post on the celebrity factor in fashion accessories prompted an interesting comment on how designers can get celebrities to wear their jewelry. No doubt, this would have a huge impact on business.
My sister-in-law experienced it almost by accident. She manufactured a high quality line of leather handbags in Korea and one of the top Korean movie stars at that time purchased the bag and appeared several times on TV carrying the bag. Sales skyrocketed in her handbag line and that particular style went through the roof as women rushed to find it.
In the US it is far more difficult and unlikely to happen. The only slim chance would be to send an item as a gift to the celebrity and hope she wears it and is photographed while doing so. A more realistic scenario would be to send jewelry to a popular female newscaster in your area with a note providing information about the designer. There is a much better chance she will wear it on TV and hopefully mention the designer.
In New Orleans, Angela Hill was an attractive newscaster and very classy dresser that wore a different necklace every night. This had a very positive impact on retailers in the city. I’ll bet many women tuned in more for ideas on style than for local news. This is a realistic starting point that can be very positive.
Actually, the relationship between top designers and celebrities was not always so cozy. According to Teri Agins in The End of Fashion, Christian Dior refused to provide a wedding dress for a movie in 1955. The reason-“There was no way Dior would risk the displeasure of some of his most elegant clients by allowing his dresses to be put in a vulgar display on the screen.”
How that has changed! By the nineties designers were wooing Hollywood and the impact was huge. Teri Agins says “In the 1980 movie American Gigolo Richard Gere was a walking Armani fashion show” and the next year saw a huge boost in sales. Armani had previously worked for Cerruti who Agins quotes as saying “The productions used to pay for the clothes we made for the movies, but now we get a credit [at the end of the movie] in exchange for providing the clothes for free.”
The game has reached a new level and unless our products are very, very special, we probably need to start on a lower step and try to work our way up.