Vogue editor in chief Anna Wintour and her staff will again team with Nordstrom and public relations firm KCD this year to style nominees and presenters, but this time with a more formalized wardrobing infrastructure.
In the lead up to the event, the retailer has erected a “Nordstrom Red Carpet Accessories Suite” within KCD’s Meatpacking District office. Artistically managed by the department store’s executive vice president of designer merchandising Jeffrey Kalinsky, the suite is stocked with bags and shoes from an assortment of designers including Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo, Fendi, Charlotte Olympia and Alexander McQueen.
Most of the accessories will be available for purchase on nordstrom.com when the Tonys air live on CBS on June 12. This year, the store also will support a live-streaming red carpet show, set to feed on web sites including Vogue.com, People.com, EW.com, Tonyawards.com and Nordstrom’s editorial blog The Thread.
“I think that kind of online tie-in makes sense with this kind of partnership. Our customer loves to see what celebrities are wearing and, if inspired, they would like to buy it, so why not be able to sell it now?” Kalinsky told WWD while perched inside the makeshift styling studio.
He declined to provide projections of how Nordstrom’s accessories sales could spike in the show’s aftermath. Representatives for the Tony Awards did not respond to requests for comment.
KCD’s offices also presently host a room full of gowns to be styled on nominees and presenters, free of charge. Celebrity stylist Jeanann Williams has returned this year to assist in the “evolution” of the Tony Awards’ sartorial look, lending her expertise to talent that will include Andrea Martin, Jane Krakowski, Cynthia Erivo, Nikki James, Carmen Cusack and Carole King. It is understood the gowns are not provided by Nordstrom in the same ready-to-buy context for consumers as the accessories.
KCD and Nordstrom are still ironing out details of how to convey which items will be available for immediate sale.
“I think Anna Wintour got involved less officially last year but definitely loves Broadway and wanted to elevate the red carpet….I’m expecting to see a nice evolution of what was started last year,” Kalinsky said.
“I love theater and I love Broadway. I have been to the Tony Awards two times just as a civilian but, you know, it didn’t get the love from let’s say the fashion industry. Not to say that the fashion industry doesn’t love theater, but the way that people really work very hard to support all of these actors and actresses with the Oscars and Golden Globes…I mean, when you talk about red carpet you haven’t talked about the Tonys in sort of that same realm,” he said. “[Actors] are left to their own devices and I think they deserve better — they are getting more love and attention.
“The ordinary person needs help getting dressed to go to events, so when someone is getting married or there is a bar mitzvah there is a lot of effort made and, you know, we really need to support these great actors and actresses. Fashion and the arts are a natural marriage.”
A spokesperson for the Nordstrom Red Carpet Accessories Suite said Vogue’s staff has been involved in calling in products but has not been involved in the selection of specific labels for participation. “They don’t dictate what brands to include; they are happy for any brand to take part, obviously within that elevated red carpet aesthetic,” the spokesperson said.