Pretty Young Things Sell Beauty and Business Better.
A publicist from a major European fashion house once called with a telling request: Could we please run a red-carpet image of a teen star draped in its gown rather than the middle-aged celebrity who’d also appeared at the awards show in one of its dresses?
It seems the head of the venerable house, who is up there in years, figured the association with this pretty, young actress would do more for his brand’s image than a legion of thirty- and fortysomething superstars ever could.
Such a request isn’t unusual. In this second annual issue of WWDYoung Hollywood, Women’s Wear Daily editors in Los Angeles and New York go inside the worlds of film, TV and music to report how its youthful denizens are using image to influence their opportunities, both in terms of screen roles and business ventures — especially in fashion and beauty. And just as enthusiastically, fashion and beauty brands are increasingly vying for very public associations with young Hollywood. Like it or not, youth, or the effort to retain it, remains a powerful concern and — maybe even more than fame and fortune — an aspirational goal for the consuming public.
Cashing in on that power are the multifariously talented teens and twentysomethings — Hilary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Britney Spears — who aren’t waiting for their careers to wane before tapping every possibility. Studying the tremendous success of an icon such as Elizabeth Taylor — not to mention their peers Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen — they and their handlers are brokering deals with beauty brands at an unprecedented
rate. But it’s not just about flogging fragrances in print ads. These barely legal entrepreneurs also want a piece of the process, making key decisions in everything from product development to marketing campaigns.
And many are learning a lesson or two from their predecessors — or inventing new rules of their own — in the image game of playing bad girl-good girl. In “Quick-Change Artists,” guest reporter Leslie Gornstein explores how more and more young celebrities are going from virgin to vixen and back again in a snap, banking on the media exposure and subsequent public awareness they get from just changing their look.Although Hollywood can be a scary place for many a young star, in horror films some have found their first break (Renée Zellweger, Jamie Lee Curtis) or even a boost to their career (Sarah Michelle Gellar). As New York-based Eye editor Marshal Heyman reports, box-office takes in recent years have made horror flicks a respectable career step, particularly as the genre has been reimagined from B-level to blockbuster.
One actress-singer-designer who has managed to launch herself without a slasher flick is Taryn Manning. She talks of her starring role in the Sundance darling, “Hustle & Flow,” as well as the rest of her vida loca, in a first-person account illustrated with personal photographs taken by her buddy Caroline “Cline” Mayo. Despite an endless string of too-short cameos in major films, Manning has used her edgy, trendsetting style and cult band to sustain her “It” girl status — and sanity — in fickle Hollywood.
This issue’s cover girl, Evan Rachel Wood, may not spring to mind as a style icon the way our first cover girl, Mischa Barton, now does. But we chose Wood because she’s clearly a star on a rapid rise. The 17-year-old is a
first-rate talent, with a résumé of past, present and future A-list films as long as her gangly arm. And last year’s best-actress nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press and Screen Actor’s Guild for “Thirteen” have already made her more than a token PYT on the red carpet.
That said, Wood allowed our Los Angeles fashion editor, Monica Schweiger, to dress her at the dreamy and legendary Pink Hotel in Sun Valley, which looks just like it did when the owners opened it in 1946, and where many a movie and TV show have been filmed.
Keeping up with the next hot thing is no easy task. WWD’s star is associate entertainment editor Marcy Medina, who not only keeps year-round tabs on the young and famous featured in these pages, but also secured our cover girl one blustery afternoon at the Sundance Film Festival last month in Park City, Utah.
Hollywood, after all, is not just a place, but a state of business that can exist anywhere the young and talented are found.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews