A new designer

Celebrities have played a huge role in fashion over the past few years, as a publicity tool for designers, and as the designers themselves. So...

Celebrities have played a huge role in fashion over the past few years, as a publicity tool for designers, and as the designers themselves. So it’s no surprise that the line is blurring between designer and celebrity, on both ends. While celebrities are utilizing status and “talent” to “design” their own labels and successfully generate sales – Jay Z, Jessica Simpson, Gwen Stefani, to name a few – designers are finding that they must market themselves as well as their designs, and it’s becoming more important for designers to attain celebrity status.

“By the end of New York fashion week…designer Michael Kors will have conducted at least 45 interviews, attended two book parties and appeared on stage at a "Fashion Rocks" pop concert in front of thousands at Radio City Music Hall,” The Wall Street Journal reports.

The story explains that certain designers, such as Nanette Lepore, are more hesitant to put themselves out there, but understand the heightened necessity of maintaining a high profile.
"I don't have the infrastructure in my company to be out all the time," she says. Retailers are often pushing her to do more personal appearances, "but I resist. I get a little nervous," Ms. Lepore says. "I feel like it's something I have to do more now to get my profile out there, but it is not my favorite thing."

And Michael Kors, a media natural who has embraced, and on some level helped jumpstart the trend, says it should be acknowledged as far back as the education roots of designers.
“With the role of personality so important for designers today, Mr. Kors says they need to become more skilled at public speaking and other social skills. "Fashion schools should spend less time on working with them on doing sketches and more time on media training how to package themselves," he says.

We know that this fashion PR trend is defining a new type of celebrity, but how will the trend impact actual fashion design, if it hasn’t already?

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