Who isn’t proud to see the names of our “local” fashion designers dressing the A-lister international celebrities? We all read, like and even share the articles and photos showing that. And no matter how proud we are, we all wonder how they got to this level, coming from a country like Lebanon that doesn’t even appear on big maps.
According to magazines like SHAPE and Vanity Fair, the pay-to-wear celeb trend isn’t new or surprising (the worst-kept secret of the fashion industry might be that top-tier stars are often paid to sit in the front row at Fashion Week), but it goes even further: Celebrities are sometimes paid to wear those gorgeous gowns and sparkling jewels we see on the red carpet.
We all know that stars get some seriously unfair deals just for being rich and famous. But we didn’t know that some celebrities may be getting paid to wear those fabulous gowns and jewels on the red carpet.
Do you know that the first question a female celebrity gets asked upon her arrival to an awards show is, ”Who are you wearing?” It’s not because viewers are dying to know who designed her dress. It’s because celebrities are often loaned, or maybe gifted, dresses directly from the hottest designers, sometimes straight from the runway, in order to secure publicity for the brand and are contractually obligated to tell the world who they are wearing.
Clearly this agreement is mutually beneficial. The celebrity gets a gorgeous designer gown for free and the designer gets one of his or her designs in front of the public on a national scale. Think about how many people watch the Oscars and hear Jennifer Lopez say that she is wearing Elie Saab Couture. Obviously the average consumer isn’t going to run out and buy an Elie Saab Haute Couture gown, but Elie Saab received a mention on television from one of the world’s favorite actresses, which will then be mentioned in every single celebrity and fashion magazine in the world. And all Elie Saab’s PR people had to do was donate a dress to J-Lo. The ROI (return on investment) on that is insane.
While sought-after actresses can demand big bucks from names like Cartier and Dior, not all stars are considered equal. Fashion houses will fight for a chance to get their dress on an A-lister who fits a certain ideal – namely, young, thin and possessing ‘serious acting’ credentials – while snubbing others who don’t fit with their image.
The question is: are Lebanese designers paying those international famous actresses to wear their dresses on the red carpet of the Oscar? The answer is somehow obvious and maybe a little disappointing: probably yes, as no matter how big are the names of the Lebanese designers we are proud of, why won’t they follow the steps of long time famous and international designers as Chanel and Dior.
No matter What, we are so proud of all our Fashion Designers who became International, all those name that change the bad image to a good one. Elie Saab, Zuhair Mrad, Mireille Dagher and Charbel Zoe, the beautiful gowns made the Oscar stars look much more beautiful. Thank you.