HOLLYWOOD IMPACT: Consumers are looking to celebrities for style ideas, and even spending more money to buy products related to celebrities — at least according to People StyleWatch, which, of course, happens to cover celebrities and their style. The magazine revealed at a breakfast Thursday morning results from its Celebrity Style Report, a survey with GfK Roper of 2,500 women on how celebrities affect their own personal style and purchases. According to StyleWatch publisher Michelle Myers, “They look to these celebrities to validate their purchases.”

Among the highlights of the survey: The majority of participants (80 percent) said a celebrity doesn’t have to be an A-lister to be a style icon — up-and-comers Blake Lively and Rachel Bilson are as influential as any Hollywood Walk of Fame occupant. Consumers also responded more to celebrities who are relatable in appearance to real women and photographed in real situations: 61 percent get fashion ideas from candid photos in magazines — a celebrity leaving Starbucks in jeans and a scarf, for example — than from models on the runway. “You’re seeing them in their jeans, moccasin boots, the scarf. They’re accessible, real trends that anyone can buy into and afford and interpret the look,” said StyleWatch editor Susan Kaufman. Nevertheless, consumers still named well-known celebrities Jennifer Aniston, Gwen Stefani, Eva Longoria Parker and Jennifer Lopez as their top style icons.

This story first appeared in the October 6, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The study also calculated that 25 million women have purchased a beauty or fashion product because they saw a celebrity wear or use it (although it clearly didn’t count each and every one), and that trend is likely to continue based on the reaction from several participants in the study. Three twentysomething professional women told the audience that the economic crisis is unlikely to affect their consumption of designer shoes, bags and makeup. “It should impact, but it doesn’t. I’m single, I have a secure job, I don’t have kids,” said Jen Basel, 25. Good news for fashion and luxury brands sweating the downturn. — Stephanie D. Smith

The puppies are gone, but a new ad campaign for Estée Lauder Pleasures still features the trademark peonies — plus, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow, who now sports a guitar with the tag line, “I live for moments like this.” The ads, which will launch in November and December editions of fashion and beauty magazines in the U.S. and the U.K., were photographed by Bruce Weber, who is working with Paltrow and the Lauder brand for the first time. The previous Pleasures print ads were shot by Mario Testino. “Estée Lauder advertising has always had a strong lifestyle positioning, and Bruce has a great eye for lifestyle photography, especially outdoors,” said Aerin Lauder, senior vice president and creative director of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. She created the campaign along with Doug Lloyd of Lloyd and Co. — Pete Born


DIFFERENT FACE: Bridget Hall has replaced Bar Refaeli as the face of Marco Bicego’s spring ad campaign. “I was very happy with the last one, but it was time for a change. [Refaeli] was great, but she was a girl and Bridget is more of a woman,” said Bicego, during the shoot in Chelsea last week. And, while many brands are talking about marketing cutbacks and placing ads more strategically, Bicego intends to spend at least as much as he did for the fall campaign, and perhaps more, adding Internet advertising for the first time. The campaign will break in March fashion magazines, but the media buy hasn’t been finalized. — Amy Wicks

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