Behind the curtains: the power of celebrities in the world of fashion
Fashion is a unique art form. Every day we choose how we express ourselves creatively and morally to the world through the outfits that we wear and the brands that we choose to spend our money on. Culturally speaking, immense credibility can be given to brands and designers when the reach of their art crosses multiple mediums. By expanding your marketing strategy by working with celebrities across various artistic fields, whether they be TV hosts, DJs, musicians, comedians, artists, actors, singers, or models, your brand can reach new audiences and impact them in a heartfelt way.
For designers who value the artistry and soul of their work and for directors who meticulously curate a unique and impactful brand story, working with these talents authentically has the power to place your brand on a golden, global pedestal. Here are the best ways to work with celebrities across various artistic fields so your fashion brand can have a greater impact on the market.
VOCAST spoke to two incredible industry insiders who work with both celebrities and fashion brands, to give you some insight into the dos and don’ts of collaborating with entertainers.
Meet Bryant: Bryant Von Woodson II has over four years of public relations experience at Chapter 2 Agency in New York. Beginning his professional career in the PR department, Bryant grew with the company, transitioning to VIP services, where he now helms the department. Bryant has worked with many brands and has secured placements with the likes of Lizzo, Gabrielle Union, Dua Lipa, Noah Cyrus, Future, Vic Mensa, Joe Jonas, and more.
Meet Isabelle: Isabelle Kube is the PR Manager for creative, Copenhagen-based agency LOAD Creatives. With experience working with PR in the UK as well as Germany and Denmark, she has a broad network of different creatives from influencers and stylists to celebrities. Working primarily digitally her expertise lies within influencer and celebrity giftings and collaborations globally.
Let’s talk artistry
Entertainers and artists have so much meaning behind everything they do. They need to think about what the colors they wear represent, what their outfits pay homage to, what values they are showing that they stand for. If your brand is chosen for these kinds of cultural messages, why does that create so much value and credibility among consumers?
What celebrities wear has a connection to who they are – it’s part of their art that they’re expressing. Designers can benefit from this because people see the clothes these celebrities wear as part of their artistic expression, rather than just a brand in a campaign.
Isabelle explains that celebrities are offered so much when it comes to fashion. They have the pick and choose of everything in the world whether it’s a high-end brand or a tiny-little brand someone is hand-making somewhere, and brands can benefit so hugely from being worn by these people. Fans respond because they believe in celebrities’ values. Celebrities need to think about who they are and what they represent and they need to align themselves with brands who have similar values, their fans trust them and this can turn a market. She says:
« A stylist can find something online, a celebrity wears it and it can be sold out in minutes. You have a huge impact on the market when your pieces are seen and associated with art. »
Creating authentic relationships
Although we feel connected to the artists and entertainers that we love, through the TVs in our living rooms or the headphones in our ears, there is a sense of exclusivity and inaccessibility that comes with a fame status. It is true that the impact that celebrities have on the market is huge, and as Bryant told us:
« It’s important for brands to understand who is moving the ball and creating the trends – if Rihanna wore a white tee and a tall boot it becomes a trend, a market story. »
This is one of the key components as to why these talents can drive consumer behavior, but how do we as brand responsible, create authentic two-way relationships with them?
Bryant explains how there are two ways to look at it: “on one side if you’re an emerging brand, it’s really important to collaborate with emerging talent. If you both are growing your businesses and brands and you collaborate together either by them wearing your clothes or you building them a custom look. Then later on, when this person goes on to win a Grammy or an Oscar and develops clout, you have already invested in the relationship. When they need something from now on, they’ll feel like they can come to you. Tapping into emerging talent requires a lot more research and decision making but it’s important to look at these talents and see who will be rising along with you and your brand.“
On the other hand, he talks about how it’s about making your brand accessible to already established celebrities, “like the Beyonce’s and Gaga’s” he says: “This is important because, at the end of the day, a celebrity endorsement will shift culture. It will shift trends. It can create a market for the next generation and it’s important to be in that conversation.”
His advice for the already established talent is to keep fighting for the opportunity: “Reach for the Michelle Obamas of the world, you never know when they may say yes.”
« The only way to do it is to build that relationship with their team, have a zoom call, go for coffee, and from there you’ll find ways to work together. »
Bryant elaborates by telling us that it’s important to make sure that you’re very clear and focused on what your brand stands for, and really tailor your celebrity strategy towards that. Don’t go in blind and ask for a collaboration. He would encourage brands to go in and ask to meet. He says: “Have that face-to-face moment. It’s so important to figure out how to build these relationships, start those conversations so be accessible, be genuine, make things happen and be reliable.”
Culture and representation
Isabelle believes that what goes into celebrity styling and PR is trying to convey messages with the outfit. Celebrities do this well because they know that whatever they do is going to be analyzed. She says:
« It’s a form of visual communication. It’s such a powerful thing to be able to convey a message just by an outfit. Look at politics, when a woman wears a suit, you know it’s a power suit. That really means something. »
Although it’s an investment to gift these looks out to people, in our conversation with Bryant, he talks about how it’s turned around when real people are excited about seeing pieces worn and why. He tells us: “I work with a brand called No Sesso and they’re really about body positivity, about making sure that clothes are genderless for everyone. The designers are both women of color, one is a trans woman of color which is phenomenal. With this, it’s about making sure we are dressing and having opportunities for the trans community, the people of color community, and really making sure that we’re dressing people so that people can see themselves in these clothes.”
Dressing you, for you
We all love to see what our favorite entertainers are wearing to award shows, events, and red carpet occasions, but how often do you go out to buy a red carpet look straight from the designer? Isabelle says: “If a celebrity is wearing something from your line whether it be at a private event or to the supermarket, it shows that it’s actually part of their wardrobe, it’s something they actually want to wear.”
The power your brand can have by nurturing these kinds of authentic relationships with celebrities is that they trust and value your work. It’s impactful to the consumer to see their favorite artists wear your pieces for themselves to make them look and feel good any day of the week.
Bryant elaborates this even further and explains what can happen once you’ve got this relationship and dressed someone for their big moments. He explains that if an artist or celebrity is a fan of the brand, respects the brand, and wants to wear the brand, they will have ready-to-wear pieces in their closet. Then they’re including you into their life as a designer because of the fact you’ve built this relationship:
« Celebrities are still human and they’re still consumers, they want good things at the end of the day. They want to know about your values as a designer just as much as public-facing consumers, they want to shop in alignment with their morals. »
Isabelle always tells brands that even if there’s only one picture posted of their clothing, it doesn’t mean that someone isn’t wearing it: “honestly, someone wearing something in their free time is worth so much more than a gifted post. Paparazzi shots often sell more than a red carpet look in a magazine because it’s more attainable and relatable.”
Top tips: gaining VIP status access
It’s a great accomplishment to be able to create and nurture these relationships, get your brand out there, and be represented artistically via entertainers who value your work and impact culture. But access to celebrities can feel like a far reach. So how should you do it?
As Isabelle explains it confidently, you should always aim high. Start there and then adjust the strategy going forward. Even if it feels unrealistic it takes time, and effort, and networking:
« The sky’s the limit and it’s not even the limit. You won’t manage until you try and it sounds cliche but it’s true. Sure, these celebrity teams get a lot of offers and they’re selective, but if you believe in your product it’s worth it. »
So what are the best ways that brands can position themselves when it comes to celebrity marketing? Your brand needs to know who the people that these entertainers, artists, and their teams really want to work with.
1. Create a connection
Isabelle’s advice: “become friends, share your brand story and be personal. Treat everyone you come across with respect, your intern a year ago could be the next big stylist in a month so don’t take anyone for granted.”
2. Show that you care
Bryant’s advice: “it’s still a professional relationship, but you know we’re all human. I can talk to these top stylists and their teams now and just say: hey, how are you, are you looking forward to the holidays, here’s a little gift from me, sending you some love. I really think that takes it a long way.”
3. Support emerging talent
Bryant’s advice: “be the brand that supports someone when they have their first movie, their first music video. When you lookout for a whole team while they’re young, you can have that moment with them that might really disrupt the market and that’s what you want.”
4. Show gratitude
Isabelle’s advice: “a lot of times I will gift stylists as well as the celebrity they’re dressing so they can have something too, we all want to benefit from the relationship.”
5. Hold your head high!
Bryant’s advice: “just remember you deserve to be here. Don’t fall for imposter syndrome. You’re a brand with a clear mission, you’re an amazing publicist, you deserve to be here, you deserve to be at the table so reach for the stars.”
Take a look!
Here are some of the talented entertainers VOCAST has gathered in our exclusive curated lists that you need to know:
Sofie is Denmark’s Miss Sunshine and spreads love and laughter wherever she goes in her colorful outfits. She is mostly known for her role as the host on Danish X-Factor and her recent speech at the Zulu Comedy Galla which blew up the MeToo-debate in Denmark again.
Bilal Hassani is a French singer, with Moroccan roots. Bilal became famous by representing France at the Eurovision in 2019 and is since then one of France’s most prominent singers and fashion icons.
The one celebrity from Italy at the moment that everyone should know about is definitely the rock group: Måneskin! The group of 4 is now becoming popular as ever not only in Italy but also abroad – they recently performed at the AMAs.
Sanne is a well-known Dutch model. She has appeared on the runway for famous brands such as Chanel, Versace, Balmain, and Victoria’s secret. She open-heartedly shares vlogs about her life, fashion, interior, body, and beauty secrets.
Rita Ora is a British singer and songwriter who has been in the global spotlight for over a decade. With her hit singles, memorable fashion moments, and personality on British TV, the award-winning artist is a true embodiment of an entertainer.
Steve Aoki is a Grammy-nominated DJ, producer, and music executive, known for his high-impact, experiential live performances. He’s also the founder of the record label, lifestyle company, and apparel line Dim Mak.
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