Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities Are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers

Hijacking the Runway: How Celebrities Are Stealing the Spotlight from Fashion Designers

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 1592408141

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

A fascinating chronicle of how celebrity has inundated the world of fashion, realigning the forces that drive both the styles we covet and the bottom lines of the biggest names in luxury apparel.
From Coco Chanel’s iconic tweed suits to the miniskirt’s surprising comeback in the late 1980s, fashion houses reigned for decades as the arbiters of style and dictators of trends. Hollywood stars have always furthered fashion’s cause of seducing the masses into buying designers’ clothes, acting as living billboards. Now, forced by the explosion of social media and the accelerating worship of fame, red carpet celebrities are no longer content to just advertise and are putting their names on labels that reflect the image they—or their stylists—created.
Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sean Combs, and a host of pop, sports, and reality-show stars of the moment are leveraging the power of their celebrity to become the face of their own fashion brands, embracing lucrative contracts that keep their images on our screens and their hands on the wheel of a multi-billion dollar industry. And a few celebrities—like the Olsen Twins and Victoria Beckham—have gone all the way and reinvented themselves as bonafide designers. Not all celebrities succeed, but in an ever more crowded and clamorous marketplace, it’s increasingly unlikely that any fashion brand will succeed without celebrity involvement—even if designers, like Michael Kors, have to become celebrities themselves.
Agins charts this strange new terrain with wit and insight and an insider’s access to the fascinating struggles of the bold-type names and their jealousies, insecurities, and triumphs. Everyone from industry insiders to fans of Project Runway and America's Next Top Model will want to read Agins’s take on the glitter and stardust transforming the fashion industry, and where it is likely to take us next.

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alighting from a black-and-gold perfume bottle–shaped carriage, pulled by two black horses. She was all Wonder Woman–meets-Goth in a black patent gown, a bronze headdress, and scary, skyscraper platform boots. Moving gingerly, Gaga once again stumbled on her way inside the revolving doors. Cordoned off near the entrance were hundreds of fans, who whooped and hollered: “Ga-ga! Gaga, we love you!” Now Smell This! Eager and fidgety, the two hundred or so lucky shoppers who had bought $125 gift

it came to fashion—and had no interest in wearing clothes “designed” by a celebrity. It was true that Armani, Versace, and Chanel spent millions flying stars over to Europe for their runway shows and to fashion galas they sponsored all over the world—they relied on star power to impart edge and cool to their branding. But Europeans, rich and middle-class alike, were far more sophisticated when it came to what they wore—and that didn’t include fashions or fragrances marketed by celebrities. That

paint her fictitious Scruples boutique as a fabulous facsimile. So the gawkers marched into Giorgio for a souvenir that captured the Hollywood mystique of it all: a $35 bottle of Giorgio Beverly Hills fragrance. For five years running, Giorgio sold more than $100 million worth of those three-ounce bottles each year—a demand so steady that stores around America couldn’t keep Giorgio in stock. The movie-star lifestyle in a bottle: a Giorgio Beverly Hills 1982 advertisement. The executives at

been working on a fashion project that was near and dear to her personal tastes—a high-end dress collection. Her fitful start with jeans clearly made her wary of making a false move when she introduced her dresses. She knew that as a celebrity-turned-designer—on the couture floor, no less—she had no margin for error. Fashion editors would cut her no slack and be quick to write her off as another famous, well-dressed wannabe. So in 2008, she began gingerly with her fashion collection, centered on

after the zipper went up. Beckham talked her head off in those little meetings. And the buzz began and so did the sales to the tune of about $7 million in that first year, the fashion house told WWD. A typical Victoria Beckham dress in her popular Icon silhouette was a couture interpretation of a figure-molding body-con dress, which by design was suitable for an exclusive, very narrow subset: slender women with fit figures, good arms, and narrow hips—in other words, clones of Victoria herself.

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