The Chanel fashion show at the Paris fashion Week this year was covered widely by the media and a lot of pictures of the event were splashed as Katy Perry with bright blue hair attended the show, strategically seated in the front row. The mere presence of the pop star guaranteed the brand global headlines irrespective of the collection on display. It is an open secret of the industry that fashion houses and luxury brands pay celebrities to attend their shows. The matter broke out in the open when Nicole Farhi, a London based designer spoke strongly against the practice calling it abominable.
Nicole feels the practice is unprofessional and she has never indulged in it. It diverts the attention from the main things, the clothes as the reports after the show don’t talk about the clothes but the celebrity who was paid to sit in the show. However the practice has been going on for many years now and a celebrity of Rihanna’s standing commands as much as £60,000 for attending a fashion show. Smaller labels with a limited budget go for lesser known celebrities like the American actress Chloe Sevigny for a mere £40,000.
According to industry insiders hiring celebrities is an integral part of the big labels’ marketing strategies today. They are all willing to invest significant amounts to ensure that celebrities wear their clothes on the red carpet of prestigious events and sit in the front row of their shows. The labels consider it a legitimate marketing expense similar to what they pay a celebrity brand ambassador to endorse the brand in a media campaign. The Fashion Weeks have become very crowded with too many players fighting to grab the attention of the viewers. In this fiercely competitive environment practice like these are bound to grow.