MARKET Why awards season is more important than ever to jewelry brands.
Every February, Hollywood’s elite walks the final red carpet of the season: the Oscars. While dozens of journalists ask dozens of stars the same questions: “What are you wearing? And your jewels?” So fine jewellers are much more likely to enter into a contractual agreement with an actress. “If you look at just 10 people, six or seven of them are already taken by fine jewellers, oftentimes with very large, lucrative contracts,” explains Alana Varel, of the agency Starworks Group. “For the three who aren’t, there’s a lot of betting and bidding going on until the day of the show.” A one-time appearance at a major event like the Oscars can earn an actress somewhere in the mid-six figures, while longer-term deals for A-listers typically start at seven figures. “Today, the fee is still going to be in the mid-six figure to the low-seven figure range, with the celebrity participating in various advertising for a brand,” says Stacy Jones, president of Hollywood Branded. While these sorts of deals are more prevalent now that the red carpet’s cultural significance has increased, Hollywood’s relationship with fine jewellers is as old as the entertainment industry itself, with many actresses doubling as clients. But the influence of the red carpet on a global audience has made building long term relationships with A-list actresses all that more important. For instance, Geneva-based Piaget recently signed on Jessica Chastain as its international brand ambassador. The actress makes appearances at brand events and wears the jewels on the red carpet, although she will not star in advertising campaigns. “It was important to me to find someone who was smart and beautiful and a story, with a long future in Hollywood,” says Léopold-Metzger. Gemfields hired Mila Kunis as its global ambassador in 2013. Unlike traditional jewellery brands, Gemfields is primarily a supplier, which means Kunis wears pieces by other designers that utilise the company’s stones. Forevermark, De Beers Group of Companies’ branded diamond line that works with independent designers to create custom pieces, has experienced numerous red carpet wins since launching in 2008. “Millennials are looking to connect with new brands,” says Forevermark p.r. director Adelaide Polk-Bauman, “We welcome the competition.” C.F.