Kicked off last Thursday (September 4), New York Fashion Week (NYFW) is happening right now. Designers and fashion houses are presenting their spring 2015 ready-to-wear collection. The industry always shows prior to the next season’s arrival. Designer’s fall/winter 2014 collection were first seen in February.
It’s not a secret that Hip-Hop and R&B artists are getting paid to be present. From landing fashion endorsements, being featured in ad campaigns to the lyrics in their songs, these artists’ influence is known and felt during fashion week. Artists like Beyonce, Solange Knowles, Alicia Keys, Estelle, Lil Kim, Future, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Ciara and Rihanna are paid big bucks by designers to sit up front and center at runway shows.
A-list stars like Beyoncé and Rihanna can rake in around $100,000 in “talent” fees, airfare and free clothing in exchange for appearing at a 15-minute show. Alicia Keys can command more than $60,000, while Solange Knowles won’t be attending any shows unless she’s paid around $15,000 since she started showing up in more fashion mags.
Singer Rihanna sits at the top of the pay list – one British publication reported that she was paid about $97,500 to attend Karl Lagerfeld’s fall 2012 show in Paris. Of course a lot of shows pay more, but some pay a little less. Kim Kardashian (reality star turned rapper Kanye West’s wife) once received in the $50,000 price range to attend a show.
If the artist is not paid in cash (which most likely they are), they’re compensated in the form of free flights, hotel stays, car service, access to a makeup artist and, of course, a huge clothing gift, sometimes worth as much as $5,000.
Industry insiders confirm, however, that “the ‘golden age’ of paying celebrities to “sit front row” happened in 2007 and 2008,” but brands are still coughing up a lot of dough. The practice is nowhere near on its way out.
When a celeb does get paid actual money to “sit front row”, publicists usually try to ensure it’s the only show they attend that week. If a celeb is going to seven other shows that week, it’s not really worth it to pay them because if they’re popping up at too many shows, it is going to be far less impactful.
Fashion writers and bloggers are also cashing in. Yes, you read that right. Top tier bloggers now earn upwards of $1 million annually. The majority of bloggers that make around $1 million are street style mavens. Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad was paid $40,000 to attend a Stuart Weitzman store opening in Milan last year, according to Women’s Wear Daily. Some of the top blogger are fairly known in the fashion industry.
NYFW is the most glamorous semi-annual event in the fashion industry, a great way to network and of course cashing in.
BY DONOVAN MOORE