Our agency has worked in various ways in Hollywood for our clients – from leveraging film partnerships to promoting sponsorships. We did a diamond suite for 5 years at The Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hill the week leading up to The Academy Awards. It was both a total blast and a totally freaky experience, clients paying hundreds of thousands of dollars hoping to get some red carpet action and NO GUARANTEES. I spent many sleepless nights worrying about media coverage. In all those years, though, we always scored.
Funniest story? We held a celeb party in our suite one year and Julian McMahon from Nip/Tuck attended. He was gifted a tiepin by one of our jewelry clients and after a few drinks he pierced his own ear with the not-so-sharp point on the pin. Blood everywhere, and a surgeon no less. Very silly…
Best memory? Typing up media alerts with my brilliant associate in The Four Seasons listening to Green Day’s “American Idiot” playing as loud as the Bose would go… We needed some distraction, tough client.
But this isn’t about Oscar, but about Emmy. True, TV doesn’t have all the glamour of film, especially when it is frequented by very human reality stars, but don’t we LOVE TV? Of course we do. There is a gutsiness about Emmy, she’s going to take her place in the sun, no matter what. We’ve done a lot of work around this award show, participated in some very high level sponsorships, and I was always pleasantly surprised, and relieved, by the friendliness of the proceedings. Who doesn’t love the BAFTA tea party and the Governor’s Ball? A great group of people in the Academy, parties that are actually fun – think HBO. I love Emmy, she's a good girl to have on your side. We salute you this week, may it be filled with excellent surprises!
In 2000 I was working for a PR company that represented one of the largest fashion trade shows in NYC, ENK International. Elyse Kroll should be the subject of another blog, she is CERTAINLY one of the savviest women in NYC and definitely in the fashion arena, but that is, as I say, a subject for another blog…
During set up, as the designers were rolling in, getting their booths ready to hopefully receive buyers from specialty and department stores, I met Marie-Chantal, the Crown Princess of Greece. She was launching her children’s fashion and accessories line. I was impressed for a few reasons. She was beautiful, in a petite, blonde, royal way. She was well spoken, dignified and classy, as the best royals are when they are truly royal. BUT, more than anything, she was driven – albeit in an elegant, understated way. I didn’t know her financial situation, (many of Europe’s elect have a title but not the cash that goes with it), but no matter what her resources were at the time, this woman was going to make a success of her company, and she wasn’t going to rest on her laurels to do it.
I always remembered her, explaining the mission of her company, unpacking her product and speaking to vendors. Title aside, entitlement aside, she was going to do everything she could to create a way for herself and her company. She could have had a whole host of helpers doing it for her, but she was doing it herself. I had tremendous respect for her that day, and I think of her when I consider what it takes to win: the willingness to roll up your sleeves and get to work. Here’s to the Crown Princess and her entrepreneurial spirit!
Not sure. Let’s take a look.
Golf. Sure Tiger rocks out with the putter (or he did), but he’s also hot. Camillo Villegas, he is VERY good for golf.
You may or may not like him, but Donny Deutsch is good looking (even with those funny glasses) and it has certainly helped his career. Yes, he’s smart, of course, but he’s cute. And that’s good for TV.
Barack Obama. He’s got that fab tall frame and winning smile. Very nice looking leader of the free world.
IS THIS THE MOST VAPID BLOG EVER? Yep.
We aren’t going to mention actors or entertainers, they’re supposed to be good looking, and generally are, even when they aren’t (aka Robert Pattinson—please don’t throw anything!)
And how about Ed Viesturs mountain climber extraordinaire? Sure, he’s able to climb the top 14 tallest peaks without oxygen, but I suspect it’s his toothy smile that landed him all those endorsement deals.
I could go on and make a total fool of myself so I’ll stop here…
With all these hotties notwithstanding, when you start scrolling down the venerable list of Fortune 500 CEOs you might not find the best looking group of people (this is SO incorrect). And that basically gives us our answer. NO, good looking is not necessarily good for business. But it’s a nice bonus.
How the presidential candidates are using creative branding strategies to capture voters' imagination and attention. We all know that a teeny-tiny, ever-so-slightly, very important occasion is upon us. Come November 4th, the United States will have a new leader, one we fervently hope will usher in an era of peace, prosperity and respect for the dignity of all mankind. As true pillars of bipartisanism (and discretion), we would never reveal who we plan to vote for, but let the records show that we have unbounded respect for both John McCain and Barack Obama. What we CAN reveal is our equally unbounded respect for the level of ingenuity and creativity we have seen in the lead-up to this election by the supporters of both parties. Naturally, we are drawn toward the aesthetics, style, and effectiveness with which each party has delivered its campaign messages and objectives, with the result of making the public a) care about the elections, b) recognize that their vote does matter, and c) get out the vote in anticipated record numbers.
There are some serious iconographic images and slogans at work here such as, "Change We Can Believe in" and "Great AmeriCain Hero," which will be remembered along with classics like "I Like Ike," "Give 'Em Hell, Harry," and "Tipeecanoe and Tyler, Too." We delight in the myriad ways the parties and their supporters have expressed their messages, prompting celebrities from both camps like Halle Berry, Justin Timberlake, Jessica Biel and Elizabeth Hasselbeck to pick their team and help spread the word. As our own tribute to the artisans and creative minds at work, we have compiled a roundup of our favorites. Clockwise, from top right:
- Artists for Obama: Poster artwork and imagery donated by artists to raise money. The two pieces here are by Scott Hansen and Shepard Fairey
- Great AmeriCain Hero: Logo designed by none other than La Hasselbeck, herself
- Obama Flowers Keds Shoes: Designed by VoteObama
- Palin Power mini buttons: Note the "i" is a lipstick -- Will anyone will soon forget the bulldog/hockey mom line? I didn't think so. Pure genius.
- Obama Necktie: Designed by the American Necktie Company
We couldn’t help but notice some of hottest looks for fall took a bold cue (or two) from Carla Bruni Sarkozy’s divine state visit wardrobe last spring. We’ve been drooling over Banana Republic’s stunning violet fall coat all the while thinking, “Ooh-la-la!....hmmm, where have we seen this before?”
Clearly, this is the signaling of what will become a long-term fashion love affair with the French First Lady. While certainly not the first time a sartorial muse has emerged from public office (Jackie Kennedy and Princess Diana, bien sur), this could be the first time clothing manufacturers are able to respond with lightning speed to a public demand for “First Lady Looks.”
With stores like Spanish retailer Zara, H&M, and even GAP, that follow “fast fashion” business models to decrease the timeline from design to production to distribution, the “pillbox hat” of 2008 can be yours in no time at all. According to reports, Zara can take a design from drawing board to rack in two weeks flat. This is an incredibly smart move for retailers in need of ways to move products in a shaky economy as Sarah Palin's "specs" are virtually impossible to find at the moment, a major coup for designer Kazuo Kawasaki.
In the upcoming presidential elections, where it has truly become the “year of the woman,” it remains to be seen whether we will look to Sarah, Michelle,or Cindy for fashion inspiration. Judging from recent appearances by all, we can guarantee that retailers will be awash in fitted suits, vibrant jewel tones and decadent fabrics come late November, perfect for all of our holiday celebrations.
From “zip-ping” to “velib-ing,” sexy alternative transportation solutions take the sting out of filling up When considering alternative transportation solutions, Mireya Navarro asks in her New York Times piece this week if it’s “really possible to be passionate about a compromise,” to which we reply, “yes, yes, and MORE yes!” As gas prices have everyone rethinking that three-year SUV lease, car manufacturers and cities around the world have devised stylish solutions for alternative transport and we can’t wait to get on board. Navarro writes, “For decades, automakers pitched cars as sex symbols, as extensions of drivers’ freedom or affluence or eye for beauty.” We think there is nothing sexier than keeping an eye on the environment while zipping about town and celebs like Cameron Diaz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt and Susan Sarandon agree. Here are some highlights from our favorite alternative solutions.
Bike Borrowing: A pay-as-you-go system, the velib’ in Paris was such a huge hit when it launched last summer, more bikes are being added as we type. Other cities around the world include Barcelona, Stockholm, and Copenhagen, with Washington D.C. debuting the US market this summer. City Car Sharing such as Zipcar, CityCarShare, igo and City Car Club have you covered in New York, London, Chicago, Philly, and the Bay Area, to name a few. Users pay small monthly fees and then rent by the hour (we’re talking $5.00, people.) Hybrids: We thought Toyota had this market locked up with the Prius, but we just saw our very first Smart car in New York City this weekend – adorable! Mercedes and Porche also have hybrids (who knew?) and you can check out a slew of others here.
How celebs keep the spotlight on their personal charity projects With so many celebrity-driven charity projects on the decks, it’s hard to keep up with the major issues, who’s doing what, and where change is actually being effected. We decided to check in on a few of our favorite charities to see how it’s going. charity: water – After digesting the fact that 1 in 6 people lack access to clean water, NYC entertainment promoter Scott Harrison founded the organization in 2006 to bring water solutions to developing nations through wells, rainwater harvesting, and biosand filters. STATUS: To date, charity: water has succeeded in building 629 water projects around the world. Check out their huge September project here and their thought-provoking PSA starring Jennifer Connelly.
The Make it Right (MIR) Project – Founded in 2006 by Brad Pitt to build homes for the victims of Hurricane Katrina, The MIR Project is committed to construct 150 homes in the devastated Lower 9th Ward. The affordable, sustainable homes were designed via an architecture competition with Global Green. STATUS: In less than 2 years, 83 of the 150 homes have been sponsored. Take a home tour here. FEED Foundation – Inspired by the United Nations World Feeding Program (WPF), which supplies school meals to children in developing nations, Lauren Bush designed FEED bags, which translate to supplying food for 1 child for 1 year, with every bag sold. The FEED Foundation’s ultimate goal is to use nutrition and education to break the poverty cycle. STATUS: In 2008, FEED Projects will distribute $4 million for the UN WFP. Buy a FEED bag here.
Celebs seeing double on the red carpet are going “vintage” for a signature look In light of the recent dress double bookings (oops! make that triple), with Lauren Santo Domingo AND Lindsay Lohan having worn Nina Ricci's sparkling silver gown before Sarah Jessica Parker donned it at the Sex and the City premiere, celebrities looking for a signature look are setting their sights on vintage as a surefire way to stand out from the crowd.
A well-kept secret amongst clever celebs who fear competing for the choicest frocks, searching for unique, vintage couture has become something of an art form. Take this recent piece in the Wall Street Journal, which illustrates both the perils and triumphs in the hunt for forgotten masterpieces by vintage collector Juliana Cairone. Cairone, who’s clients include Angelina Jolie, Calista Flockhart, and Debra Messing, and who has discovered just about every gorgeous dress we’ve seen on the red carpet this year, admits that the best treasures are often found in private collections (read: Gram-Gram’s attic). If you’re on the hunt for your own signature vintage look and want to bypass the unchartered territories of your relatives nether-regions, leave the searching to the experts and check out Cairone’s Rare Vintage collection in New York, Rellik in London, and Didier Ludot in Paris.
Can Celebrities and “Affordable Luxury” win over the American coffee consumer?
We tossed our hat in the ring to star in George’s next Nespresso commercial (can you blame us?) and although we maaaay not be selected over the other 7,200 dreamers, we harbor no hard feelings and in fact, have become enamored of the trend in pod machines which, particularly in Europe, has people queuing up to refill their capsule stock for miles (ahem, kilometers).
Is it Clooney himself that has everyone momentarily panting for their single-serving, home-brewed espresso fix? Or will pod machines have us officially bidding our old-fashioned coffee-clunkers adieu and tossing back espressos like old-hat pétanque players?
This Bloomberg article makes us think that perhaps Americans may not be willing to shed their love of traditionally brewed coffee and the “coffee experience” just yet, but some of the new single-serving machines from LavAzza, Nespresso, and illy are so gorgeous, we might be willing to give espresso a shot.
We’re drawn by the strategy these brands are taking to work their way into the homes of wary consumers who can’t conceive of giving up their bottomless cups of joe. Nespresso has the celebrity angle locked up with the indefatigably charming Clooney, while LavAzza has tapped into the high-fashion market to enhance their brand with a line of luxury lifestyle products.
Those unwilling to jump on the espresso train just yet—fear not! Flavia’s amazing hot beverage machine can handle gourmet coffee, cappuccinos, and organic teas. And with machines priced under $300, all of the top brands are hitting the “affordable luxury” target right on the mark and appear poised to conquer even the most steadfast traditional coffee consumer.
Shake Your Tail Feathers: Red Carpet Plumage confirms the arrival of the feather trend! Checking out recent red-carpet photos, we were struck by the notable trend in over-the-top aviary accessories. From the Cannes International Film Festival to film premieres to the superhero-themed gala for the Metropolitan Museum's Costume Institute, actresses have left behind the minimalist chic of the Academy Awards that had us dozing off for awhile and transformed themselves into birds in full bloom.
Is it slightly wacky, a little crazy, and completely ostentatious? Sure. But you know what? It’s also totally fun and a perfect way to accessorize for summer. We love Urban Outfitters' fun and funky feather accessories collection, from earrings to necklaces and beguiling headpieces…all under $20.
More on the Bird trend:
- Anthropologie’s fabulous bird-themed home accessories
- Birding, anyone? Check out the Wild Nature Guide to the Hamptons
- Might as well "bird" in style with Swarovski's stunning Crystal Pocket Binoculars
- The re-imagining of fave NYC restaurant Provence. NY Mag assures us the updated version, named Hundred Acres, will boast American “craft” themed food and will be even better than the original--and you can practice your bird calls