“It’s a time on every designer to-do list to see one of their designs hit the Oscars red carpet,” said Los Angeles designer Anita Ko, who had just performed in February when Scarlett Johansson wore the $ 2.5 million, 26.65 carat. Ko diamond earrings created with Forevermark at the Oscars.
As well as showing the designer’s flair for modern pieces with movement, “it elevated my brand,” Ko said of her biggest celebrity placement to date, adding that the victory amounted to million media impressions and spilled over into the enthusiasm of retailers, if not necessarily to lead retail sales, as the earrings were unique. “And now that COVID-19 has hit, I’m even more grateful because we don’t know if we’ll have the opportunity for this type of exposure again.”
Indeed, Hollywood – like the rest of the world – is much less brilliant these days. With the pandemic restrictions, the red carpets have largely been rolled up and the award shows have been muted for times that are sober or focused more on musical performance. Next year’s Golden Globes have moved on to February 28 and the Oscars to April 25, with formats yet to be determined but likely to be live.
All of this dramatically altered the red carpet dress-up derby that typically comes around this time of year, and deactivated the money brands typically pour into the Hollywood economy, where stars can raise $ 100,000. to $ 250,000 for wearing a brand’s balls on the red carpet.
“Everything is being reassessed,” said an insider on the strategy of jewelry brands around celebrity dress, and whether it is worth all the expense, especially at awards shows, which were under scoring. declining even before COVID-19. (The September Virtual Emmys were the least watched in Nielsen history, with just 6.1 million viewers.)
The pandemic has forced the fine jewelry industry to rethink marketing strategies for a more digital future and, at the same time, how celebrities fit in.
Typically, November and December are the times when the big holiday movies likely to be in contention for awards do some promotional campaigns, which means lots of red carpet opportunities – and lots of jewelry. Brands come out of hotel suites and guarded bungalows and fly into museum rooms around the world to entice stylists and talents and create relationships that can turn into lucrative brand ambassadors, sponsorships, partnerships with social media and sometimes even in advertising campaigns.
“There is none of that,” said stylist and jewelry enthusiast Micaela Erlanger, ambassador for The Platinum Guild who unveiled the Forevermark x Micaela bridal collection in September. “In a normal year, I would host events and press previews, I wouldn’t do virtual desksides and webinars,” she said. “But without a red carpet, brands that look to the designers of taste are a great option because we are still the authorities.”
“We’ve seen celebrities and stylists take advantage of these moments to talk about how to dress for IG TV segments, Zoom meetings and more,” said Jenny Luker, president of Platinum Guild International USA, adding that the Online content generally focuses on “the neck up,” which can showcase jewelry even more than full-length photos on the red carpet.
“As always, we aim to continue to dress selected talents with Tiffany jewelry, regardless of what form their appearances take, whether in person or virtual,” said a spokesperson for Tiffany & Co., who, in a sign of the times, accessorized TikTok star Addison. Rae in his bolder and more accessible HardWear collection for the People’s Choice Awards, voted on by fans and without an audience. “In this new normal, we will maintain a special focus on personalized content, including behind the scenes and ‘get ready’ content.
Case in point: For the home Emmys, Tracee Ellis Ross set up a red carpet in her backyard, where she twirled for her 9.8 million Instagram followers wearing a diamond choker and tagged Tiffany & Co.
Chopard is another brand closely linked to the red carpet, as the main sponsor of the Cannes Film Festival. Each year since 2007, the house has created a number of high jewelry pieces equivalent to the edition number of the festival. Because Cannes, in its traditional form of cinematographic premieres, was canceled last May due to the pandemic, 73 high jewelry creations never saw the light of day on the Croisette. Instead, the brand delivered them via shorts, social media campaigns, and one-on-one client meetings on Zoom, albeit without the same sales results generated by the celebrity luster.
Chopard is also looking more to celebrity social media feeds than traditional red carpet images to win, like the post Kerry Washington created at home on Emmys night while wearing the 45’s emerald earrings. mark of the mark and a 19-karat emerald ring on a finger that she placed prominently on her chin.
Did it have the same impact? When it comes to media impressions gained, that is, celebrity placement metrics that are judged, not sales, “It’s very difficult to compare the traditional Emmys to the home ceremony, but we don’t. we have no choice but to adapt to the pandemic, ”said Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard.
Small brands see an opportunity in disrupting paid business as usual to gain a foothold in Hollywood, including Silicon Valley-born, lab-grown startup Diamond Foundry. Her jewelry brand, Vrai, added larger stones to its offering to meet demand from sustainability-conscious celebrities like Reese Witherspoon, who wore a custom 25-karat Truth diamond tennis necklace at an event in Paris. press in March.
“Now more than ever, consumers are passionate about supporting brands that prioritize business practices that are environmentally and socially responsible,” said Mona Akhavi, CEO of Los Angeles-based Vrai, who is also targeting the taste makers behind the celebrities, with its latest Stylist Edit curated. by stylist Samantha McMillen, for example, and a future collaboration with stylists Rob Zangardi and Muriel Haenn.
“There is an increased awareness of the importance of sustainability and consumers are making responsible choices when it comes to their purchases. Recently Chrissy Teigen, Lana Condor and Octavia Spencer have chosen to wear True pieces at events and the emphasis on “green” carpets resonates in the fashion industry. At Vrai, sustainability is not just a trend but a pillar of the brand, ”Akhavi said. True plans to open its first store in February in Melrose Place in Los Angeles.
For independent designers, the red carpet moments on the to-do list may be rare, but they find other Hollywood opportunities that are more personal. “We don’t get a lot of studio prints, and we don’t get a lot of people asking for expensive pieces, but people still collect jewelry. We have done well with talismans, crystals and spiritual jewelry, ”said Los Angeles designer Jacquie Aiche, who created her own celebrity moment, gifting Gigi Hadid one of her“ mom ”diamond necklaces. , which the new mother posted on Instagram Stories after giving birth to her new baby girl with Zayn Malik. The designer has sold 15 “mom” necklaces ($ 5,750 to $ 7,750) since the publication of the post and was picked up by numerous media outlets in early October.
Others have seen an increase in stars buying, rather than borrowing, jewelry. “You’d think the celebrities on the red carpet would be more influential, but they’re not, probably because they wear and promote so much,” said LA jewelry designer Grace Lee, who recently opened a store in Venice. “But we actually bought some big, famous people, like Miranda Kerr and Charlize Theron…”
A true Hollywood miracle.