LOS ANGELES — A legion of artists, stylists and beauty brand reps helped more than 60 shows put on a good face April 1-5 during this city’s newly ramped up fashion week.
But was it worth it?
Los Angeles fashion week came and went in a flurry of back-to-back shows, celebrity sightings and out-of-town media and buyers trying to navigate the distances between programs.
And while the models weren’t exactly seasoned, many of those working behind the scenes were thanks to beauty sponsorships by medium and major brands.
Redken signed on as official sponsor at Mercedes-Benz Shows LA, the three-venue program 7th on Sixth produced at the Downtown Standard Hotel. Besides keying hair for six shows, including Rebecca Rich, Martin Martin and Heatherette, Redken offered a penthouse courtesy suite for VIPs.
Eight stylists plus three publicists were flown out from New York, joining several more team members based here, said Shae Kalyani, assistant vice president of media for Redken. "We leveraged the brand in different ways, including using our tickets carefully among our distributors. They can now talk about Redken’s presence at the shows. It was definitely worth doing."
While two-thirds of the shows took place at the Downtown Standard and a handful of independent events went on in surrounding locations, another dozen ran at Smashbox Studios in Culver City, where owners Dean and Davis Factor realized an opportunity to brand their Smashbox Cosmetics line by hosting their own program billed, natch, SmashboxFashionWeekLos Angeles.
The Factor brothers completely underwrote the 11 shows, but the returns exceeded the investment with the promotional benefits resulting from the brand media exposure. "We’d been wanting to do this for years, but we now have a reason to do it because of this gorgeous line of cosmetics and our agency," said Davis Factor. "It was so worth doing it because we became more visible."
Geoffrey Rodriguez, an artist with the in-house agency, oversaw the makeup teams, while hair was serviced by members of Jonathan A Beauty Salon. Modelsgot a windblown look with matte skin and kohl-rimmed eyes at Rami Kashou and contrasted designer Eduardo Lucero’s drab palette with a "veil of color."A "Valley Beyond the Dolls" mood ruled at Frankie B., where low-rise minis met high-rise maxi hair, whereas a fall color scheme countered well with Magda Berliner’s edgy wares. Yet MAC senior artist Gregory Arlt saw his role as about more than makeup. "This was the first time for a lot of these designers, and I think our experience had a little calming effect."
MAC has had a longtime presence at the shows here, even before they were so formally organized. "We’ve always supported a lot of the L.A.-based designers there and in New York," noted president John Demsey. "It’s great that there is finally a week that brings a West Coast attitude in sharp focus."
Clearly, branding is why companies get involved. The Elisa Jimenez show April 1 at a downtown gallery marked Lola’s entrée into runway work. Co-sponsor Beauty.com facilitated the link, and Lola provided more than 400 goody bags valued at $250, plus another 50 VIP bags filled with $500 worth of products, including a signature leather bag.
Although residual press hasn’t surfaced yet, Lola founder Victoria Jackson called the shows "a nice investment.It’s not only about selling the product, but the artistry of it."
Urban Decay enlisted artist Sharon Gault to create Heatherette’s cheeky "Hollywood Walk of Fame" resort run. The beauty company, which first joined up with Heatherette in New York last season, also provided product for the goody bags packed with Hello Kitty swag.
"It was definitely worth doing because L.A. fashion week is going to get more important each season," observed Urban Decay creative director Wende Zomnir. "For us, it’s about establishing Urban Decay as a line that works with fashion companies."
Likewise, Fred Segal Beauty designed the hair for Heatherette, as well as Magda Berliner, Joey and T, Richard Tyler and others.
Kerastase sponsored the four to 10 artists who worked on each show from the Fred Segal Beauty agency, including creative director Paul D’Aramas and Shawn James. Makeup team leader Kalexius Kolby oversaw the body graffiti at the Joey and T show. "It was really important for us to participate in L.A.’s first official fashion week," said cofounder Michael Baruch. "It was good for morale and it was good for promoting ourselves as a company that creates looks and doesn’t need to buy a presence."The bottom-line consensus? Strategies are already being reviewed with the November shows in mind.
"There’s no question that the importance of California and the integration of fashion, film, music and lifestyle is a powerful point of inception for our industry," observed MAC’s Demsey. "L.A. is where London was 10 years ago. Watch the radar screen."
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)