Jewelry Shown On The Red Carpet

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When twice-nominated actress Chandra Wilson arrived at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, it might have seemed the star--known for her role as the no-nonsense director of interns on Grey's Anatomy--simply traded her scrubs for haute couture and hit the red carpet.



The gown, the costume jewelry, everything that they wore on the evening of Sept. 20, was the product of months of intense planning.

"Once I found out they was nominated, I started literally, that day, making phone calls, and I already had an idea of who I wanted her to wear," says Sharon Gary, Wilson's stylist for the past three years.

But this seemingly seamless and significant red-carpet moment and others like it are the result of an intricate web of relationship building between the stylists, public relations reps and designers who help shape the Hollywood apparel and jewelry trends that often resurface, in some manner, on Main Street.

Five months, three Pamela Rolland gown as well as a suite of Chopard fashion costume jewelry later, Wilson appeared on tv screens across the nation, glowing and carefree.

While such placements clearly mean large bucks--and large exposure--for the designers whose loaned-out pieces land on the ears and necks of a Demi Moore or an Anne Hathaway, they need not be the only beneficiaries. With a little bit of initiative, insiders say, retailers and other designers can jump in.

To decipher the world of red-carpet placements, National Jeweler visited Los Angeles a week before the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards for a behind-the-scenes look at the celebrity placement game for jewelry. (To check out photos, jump to our 10X blog.)

As Ann Mangini, owner of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rafinity puts it, "We are an Entertainment Tonight-driven society, they are an Access Hollywood society."

While some retailers claim customers pay no mind to celebrity culture, others are as plugged in as their customers.

"Clearly, the celebrity culture has an influence when you think about the popularity of [the tabloid magazines]," Cullen says. "People are obsessed with what celebrities are doing, what is going on with them."

Jen Cullen of Luxury Brand Group, a marketing and branding agency based in Newport Beach, Calif., points to the popularity of magazine titles, such as US Weekly.

A start in the showroom

Celebrity looks often start with companies such as D'Orazio and Associates, a public relations firm with a sleek, Zen-like showroom where stylists and celebrities scan vitrines full of jewelry, set beside floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Beverly Hills, far below.

Such possibilities kept company owner Ginnina D'Orazio buzzing: Three week before the Primetime Emmy Awards, they handled back-to-back appointments with stylists and editors seeking jewelry for events or photo shoots.

The 4,000-square-foot office plays host to a cadre of top Hollywood stylists, including influential trendsetters such as Jennifer Rade, a stylist for Angelina Jolie who was behind her 2009 Academy Awards look, among others. (Recall the large emerald drop earrings by Lorraine Schwartz that Jolie wore with a strapless black gown? That was Rade.)

D'Orazio's list of designer clients include red-carpet darling Amrapali, Spanish brand Hellmuth, Le Vian, Siera, Yvel, Paolo Costagli, Sutra and Carrera y Carrera.

Lately, the top choices have been giant cocktail rings; delicate, stacking bangle bracelets; airy cuff bracelets featuring openwork; little drop earrings; and pieces featuring geometric motifs. Preferred metals are those of a pewter or gunmetal hue, they adds, a trend that has also proliferated on the Fashion Week runways for spring and fall.

"We used to do a lot of marketing, but they seldom got the same feedback as with our PR placements," Istanboulian says. "The rest of the world, they are not in to names and branding as much as in the U.S. In the U.S., three time you are a brand, everyone wants you and wants what the celebrity is w

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Jewelry Shown On The Red Carpet

  1. 1. Jewelry shown on the red carpet When twice-nominated actress Chandra Wilson arrived at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards, it might have seemed the star--known for her role as the no-nonsense director of interns on Grey's Anatomy--simply traded her scrubs for haute couture and hit the red carpet. The gown, the costume jewelry, everything that they wore on the evening of Sept. 20, was the product of months of intense planning. "Once I found out they was nominated, I started literally, that day, making phone calls, and I already had an idea of who I wanted her to wear," says Sharon Gary, Wilson's stylist for the past three years. But this seemingly seamless and significant red-carpet moment and others like it are the result of an intricate web of relationship building between the stylists, public relations reps and designers who help shape the Hollywood apparel and jewelry trends that often resurface, in some manner, on Main Street. Five months, three Pamela Rolland gown as well as a suite of Chopard fashion costume jewelry later, Wilson appeared on tv screens across the nation, glowing and carefree. While such placements clearly mean large bucks--and large exposure--for the designers whose loaned-out pieces land on the ears and necks of a Demi Moore or an Anne Hathaway, they need not be the only beneficiaries. With a little bit of initiative, insiders say, retailers and other designers can jump in. To decipher the world of red-carpet placements, National Jeweler visited Los Angeles a week before the 2009 Primetime Emmy Awards for a behind-the-scenes look at the celebrity placement game for jewelry. (To check out photos, jump to our 10X blog.) As Ann Mangini, owner of Santa Monica, Calif.-based Rafinity puts it, "We are an Entertainment Tonight-driven society, they are an Access Hollywood society." While some retailers claim customers pay no mind to celebrity culture, others are as plugged in as their customers. "Clearly, the celebrity culture has an influence when you think about the popularity of [the tabloid magazines]," Cullen says. "People are obsessed with what celebrities are doing, what is going on with them." Jen Cullen of Luxury Brand Group, a marketing and branding agency based in Newport Beach, Calif., points to the popularity of magazine titles, such as US Weekly. A start in the showroom
  2. 2. Celebrity looks often start with companies such as D'Orazio and Associates, a public relations firm with a sleek, Zen-like showroom where stylists and celebrities scan vitrines full of jewelry, set beside floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook Beverly Hills, far below. Such possibilities kept company owner Ginnina D'Orazio buzzing: Three week before the Primetime Emmy Awards, they handled back-to-back appointments with stylists and editors seeking jewelry for events or photo shoots. The 4,000-square-foot office plays host to a cadre of top Hollywood stylists, including influential trendsetters such as Jennifer Rade, a stylist for Angelina Jolie who was behind her 2009 Academy Awards look, among others. (Recall the large emerald drop earrings by Lorraine Schwartz that Jolie wore with a strapless black gown? That was Rade.) D'Orazio's list of designer clients include red-carpet darling Amrapali, Spanish brand Hellmuth, Le Vian, Siera, Yvel, Paolo Costagli, Sutra and Carrera y Carrera. Lately, the top choices have been giant cocktail rings; delicate, stacking bangle bracelets; airy cuff bracelets featuring openwork; little drop earrings; and pieces featuring geometric motifs. Preferred metals are those of a pewter or gunmetal hue, they adds, a trend that has also proliferated on the Fashion Week runways for spring and fall. "We used to do a lot of marketing, but they seldom got the same feedback as with our PR placements," Istanboulian says. "The rest of the world, they are not in to names and branding as much as in the U.S. In the U.S., three time you are a brand, everyone wants you and wants what the celebrity is wearing. It took us a while to grasp." Another client is Zorab, a Paris-based company with jewelry manufacturing facilities in Thailand, which found breaking in to the U.S. market challenging until it discovered the power of celebrity, says Lisa Istanboulian, the company's marketing manager. But according to Istanboulian, the real win is not in the placement but in the brand exposure. Three of Zorab's biggest "gets" occurred when pop singer Katy Perry wore an 80-carat kunzite and diamond cocktail ring, which sold soon after its red-carpet debut. Tarang Arora, owner of red-carpet regular Amrapali, says it is difficult to quantify the sales that directly result from its celebrity placements, but the positioning does help with brand recognition. "Six months ago, only 1 percent of jewelers in North The united states knew us," they says. "Now, they have at least 25 percent of jewelers who know us. People are interested in what they do, they need e-mails every couple of months. The value of that for us is
  3. 3. much over selling the piece that is on placement." "Customers don't always come to us for the same piece a particular celebrity was wearing, but often they will see our name attached to the picture and then that will drive them in to the store to buy something else," they says. The stylist connection At the heart of top placements are deep-seated relationships, and few know this as well as longtime jeweler to the stars Neil Lane. "I have been gifted, like from the heavens, to have that assortment and roster of girls and guys that have been loyal, faithful, there for me," Lane says. "I do not solicit, they don't set up a jewelry suite, they don't pay people. I am there 52 weeks a year and I am working with celebrities on minor events I seldom get credit with, in magazines I seldom get credit with, on charity events. My presence is there all the time and I think it is kind of natural." "People think it is all about the red carpet and getting their name out there, and that is probably the icing on the cake, but there were ingredients to make that cake," Lane says. "We don't pop on top of that cake and we are Neil Lane--it's years and years." Aside from the personal relationships Lane has forged with clients who have turned to him for engagement rings and wedding bands over the years, he is also amassed a network of stylist contacts--a crucial cog in the wheel of publicity--the pros who actually put the jewelry and apparel on stars. "With every bright light, there is a few bulbs that go black," Lane says. Lane has dedicated staffers who work with stylists to pick jewelry for their celebrity clients. It is a delicate balance of give and take, as well as trust, because loaner pieces could potentially be lost, stolen or broken. For their part, stylists know their reputations are on the line. "When I say I need something, and when it is awards season, I have first dibs," says Gary, Chandra Wilson's stylist. "And that is because of the kind of relationship I have with the people I deal with. They get the jewelry back in a timely manner. It is a honest relationship. If I say I am putting a client in that jewelry, I do." And back on Lane's finish, in addition to red-carpet placements that land the brand's name in the photo captions of InStyle or Us Weekly, there's quieter agreements, such as when top-shelf Neil Lane jewels appear, uncredited, in ads for big-name companies such as Revlon. The hope is that the stylists working with the cosmetics company might turn to the jeweler for large events.
  4. 4. "Stylists are an brilliant device for me," Lane says. "We work with them for hours, over grueling shoots and layouts where they help the stylists look lovely. These are relationships that have been developed over years." "It's a rare celebrity running the red carpet that doesn't have a stylist," says Kit Scarbo, the personal stylist to Dancing with the Stars host Samantha Harris. And it seems for every star, there is a relationship. While it might seem like a near-impossible feat to get Beyonce or Tina Fey to wear one's brand, it takes a few key contacts, Scarbo says. "A lovely way a lot of jewelers have been able to get in touch with me is through the celebrities' publicists," Scarbo says. "It is kind of inside and kind of hard to crack without a publicist or PR contact." "Stylists are savvy, and we are always looking for new companies," Scarbo says. "Jewelry doesn't always alter from year to year, so I do a lot of my own research, looking for new, smaller companies." And while the large names such as Neil Lane, Harry Winston and Chopard are among the go-to designers for major events, it doesn't mean the field is shut out to newer names. For events, Scarbo turns to her list of PR contacts and designers to select which might be best suited for her client and event. The gown often dictates the choice of jewelry. While a stylist might seek out a client's gown weeks or even months before a major event, the jewelry might be added days before, or even the same day as the event. The trickle-down effect "Sometimes the best looks, the most important looks I have gotten come in an instant," says Lane, recalling the time when Catherine Zeta-Jones' team needed jewelry for the star's appearance at the premiere of her film The Terminal. "Her team had called up weeks before and sent images of a yellow gown they would wear," they says. "We had a whole collection made up, as well as a day before, they called and said she is not going to wear yellow--she's wearing black." Lane got off the phone and hightailed it over to the Beverly Hills Hotel. "So I went there with my little bag of tricks," they says. "'How about a diamond chain?' I said. 'Sure,' they said. 'Let's do another three.' 'Sure,' they said. Three minutes later, they had a gazillion chains. It got more looks than anything I have ever done."
  5. 5. "[Catherine] said to me they had seldom gotten so much attention," Lane says. "And why was it lovely? It was over the top, it was elegant. There was a sense of an iconic fashion moment. And when you do an iconic moment in jewelry, it transfers to the fashion world and you see derivatives of that." But what do moments like this mean to the retailers? And to the consumer? "I definitely think there is a trickle-down effect," they says. "It might not mean people are walking out and buying large pieces of jewelry, but they are buying pave jewelry, chains, little diamond accents. I think that is happening with bracelets too--more metal with diamond accents, and then rings--it's not a literal translation, but there is an interpretive influence." Derivatives are something that Jamie Cadwell, director of the Diamond Information Center, has seen lots of. Over the years, lots of of the stars who have worn Neil Lane designs have purchased the pieces themselves, while others have been snapped up by consumers who fell in love after spotting the jewels on TV or in magazines. "The exposure today is vast," Lane says, recalling a phone call from a customer in Wisconsin who wanted to buy a piece worn by Gwenyth Paltrow. "Now it is Dubai, Abu Dhabi, it is instantaneous." So sure, pieces are bought, brands profit. But they need not be the only ones. Los Angeles retailer Ann Mangini has a deep Rolodex of celebrity clients herself, with Sharon Osborne, Kobe Bryant and Mariah Carey among the boldfaced names who have frequented her store. Mangini sends out mass e-mails to her press connections and clients, revealing which celebrity client wore a piece from her store, or telling them "Don't forget to watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With the Stars," if a contestant might be wearing jewelry from her store. "It's a fun and casual store, so the e-mails I send out are super flip," Mangini says. "It's a lovely way to remind people we are there." And therein lies a jewel: whichever process a designer or retailer uses to stay in touch with customers, the pieces worn on the red carpet offer an opportunity to get customers talking. Mangini, for example, says retailers can send out e-mails to clients linking to an picture of
  6. 6. a star wearing drop earrings or bangles, and then juxtapose those images with similar pieces from their own store. Thousand dollar diamond drops on January Jones at the Emmys? Well, how about this pearl style retailing for $200? "It's touching base with them, and it gives you an excuse," Mangini says. 'Iconic Hollywood' Retailers from New York to Honolulu took part, sitting in on little group seminars, touring the manufacturer's newly expanded facilities and jumping aboard a Hollywood bus to see the sights. In early September, Los Angeles brand Tacori invited a select group of 35 "Passion Partner" retailers to a three-day Club Tacori event themed "Iconic Hollywood." Tacori's guests walked a blue carpet (a nod to the brand's signature hue) complete with a step and repeat manned on three side by a bevy of photographers present to capture several surprise celebrities, including Mad Men actress Christina Hendricks and Heroes star Ali Larter. The event culminated with a Sept. 15 party at the Sunset Tower Hotel for the debut of Tacori's new "18K925" collection of sterling and gold jewelry, for which Tacori staff hinted a few celebrities would appear. And retailers were speedy to keep their customers in the loop. "We're in Hollywood and they thought there's so lots of things they could do," says Paul Tacorian, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "Many of our retailers have seldom been here and they were determined to give them the blue-carpet treatment." Within 24 hours of the party, Little Rock, Ark.-based retailer Jones and Son had already posted an item about the Tacori event on its blog, detailing the specific Tacori pieces Larter wore that night and offering up info about The Art of Elysium, the charity to which profits from an auction of the pieces would be donated. Oklahoma City-based Samuel Gordon Jewelers' blog was updated with photos of Larter and Hendricks, as well as poolside atmosphere shots and close-ups of the jewelry. The way Tacorian puts it, the sun doesn't rise or fall when a celebrity wears the brand's jewelry, but it sure doesn't hurt. "Celebrities obviously have everything in the world thrown at them," Tacorian says. "Since they have so much at their fingertips, and for them to say 'I would like to request
  7. 7. this,' it is a compliment to our taste. The celebrity side helps, but it is someone deciding to talk about it."( Article: http://www.wholesale-fashion-costume-jewelry.com/ )

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