Celebrities are Going Out of Fashion
A revelation this week by the veteran fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger that A-list celebrities charge anything from $25,000 to over $100,000 to sit in the front row of fashion shows dressed in clothes by the designer-du-jour — with Angelina Jolie reportedly commanding $1 million for ‘pay-forpose’ appearances — is cautionary. More so as it comes in the context of famous faces conspicuously disappearing from the catwalk-side perches in New York these days. This phenomenon obviously cannot be blamed on current usual suspects such as Donald Trump becoming the US President or India’s demonetisation. Instead, it begs the question of whether realisation is finally dawning that such celebrity placements do not translate into significant sales any more though they catch the cameras at award-show red carpets. Worse still, overexposure has led some of these celebrities to invade the fashion designing arena themselves! Meanwhile, the power to move markets appears to have shifted to another set of opinion-makers, who are valued more for their social media followings than their famous faces. As label-centric buying is giving way to eclectic personal mix’n’-match styles, disseminated widely daily and instantly, Indian designers who are still counting on celebrity front rows and Bollywood divas as ‘showstoppers’ better take note.