A celebrity face fronting a watch brand doesn't guarantee strong sales, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
Marketing budgets have swelled in recent years as brands look to actors, instead of models, for advertising campaigns. Many were quick to embrace the country's appetite for celebrity, but there are a few that are approaching it more cautiously, since the rules aren't always clear.
One of the pitfalls, for example, was highlighted during Charlize Theron's now infamous former relationship with Raymond Weil. The Oscar-winning actress signed a deal in October 2005 that stated she would only wear Weil's watches. During the contract, the actress was spotted wearing a watch from a competing brand. It was reported that Raymond Weil sued Theron for a substantial sum and the news was picked up by virtually every tabloid and media outlet with an interest in celebrity. The case is still pending in a federal court, a Weil spokesman said.
Rolex has been working with notable names in sports and music, including Roger Federer and Michael Bublé, for decades (Arnold Palmer, for instance, has been wearing Rolex on the golf course for 40 years). But it goes against the brand to work with the "It" girl of the moment or a hot celebrity. "We don't do short-term relationships," said a spokeswoman. "We align ourselves with people who are in the areas we support heavily, such as golf and yachting."
But the gold standard of celebrity tie-ups, according to some industry insiders, is Cindy Crawford's long tenure with Omega. The Swiss company was ahead of many of its peers when it tapped Crawford in 1995 to appear in its ads.
"It was quite daring in those days," said Stephen Urquhart, president of Omega.
When Crawford was hired, for a sum that Urquhart declined to disclose, the brand was actively trying to reach out to women, who at the time only comprised about 25 percent of sales.
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast