August 20, 2019

As Good As It Gets


 I am frequently asked how I started Film Fashion, which is why I wrote “Will Work For Shoes – The Business Behind Red Carpet Product Placement”.  I pioneered a unique business in which I serve as a liaison between fashion designers and thousands of Hollywood celebrities—maybe the world’s most particular group of customers. The book shares my own ‘how to’ advice to harness the power of celebrity marketing.  In it I offer practical advice you’ll need to learn about product placement to make the dream of seeing your merchandise on a celebrity a reality.

Starting my business didn’t take a direct route to success. Persistence and drive are characteristics necessary to play a starring role as entrepreneur and promote your goods to Hollywood stars.  I had a desire so strong it couldn’t be ignored, along with an unmistakable entrepreneurial spirit, to create and make my ‘big idea’ real.  This is the same fortitude you need to get your product in the hands of a celebrity.  Can you get lucky?  Absolutely!    The famed expression, “Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity”.   Is is never truer for both building your own business and getting your foot, or shoes, connected to Hollywood’s most glamorous stars.   In most cases, it will take time and hard work to lay the ground work for both to happen.

When I started my business, it took six months to get my first client, Ralph Lauren.  I was just about to give up on my “agent to fashion designer” idea when Ralph Lauren’s PR department gave me a call.  Mr. Lauren had launched a dazzling collection of women’s evening gowns and he thought one might find a home on an Oscar nominee at The Academy Awards.  Academy Award’s night has grown into being more than just a competition for the film industry – it is also the biggest night for those in the fashion industry that design red carpet gowns. Ralph Lauren’s collection was very simple – it was pretty much slip gowns – in crayon colors – yellow, fuchsia and electric blue. I wanted to make it happen for him – and any hope I had of securing him as an on-going client in the future.   But, unfortunately, I learned quickly that clothing is a matter of personal taste, and no matter how hard I pushed and pleaded, I couldn’t land one of his gowns on the Oscar red carpet.  

At the same time I was promoting Mr. Lauren’s collection to Hollywood influencers, I climbed on a plane to New York and Europe, so I could say I had one of the world’s greatest arbiters of taste as a client. My first client helped me land Escada and Herve Leger. 

You may desire to see a big A-list star wearing your goods, but if it doesn’t happen right out of the gate don’t give up; give it another try!  Be flexible, and try to capture success even if it’s not what you originally envisioned.  There are no clear paths into Hollywood, except creativity!  Jaclyn Sharp is the founder of a faux fur collection called Imposter – and a devoted animal advocate.  She knew a top celebrity wearing one of her faux chinchilla vests might propel her to the pages of a glossy celebrity weekly with millions of readers.  Jaclyn made some progress with Carrie Underwood and Angie Harmon wearing her vest and agreeing to lend their names, but it was style icon Sarah Jessica Parker that really helped take Imposter’s brand to another level.


You might consider yourself an “outsider” if you aren’t geographically located in the hub of the movie and TV scene.   Maybe you are worried about your lack of connections?  Where do you start to build a relationship with Hollywood stars, stylists, publicists and costume designers?   My tips in “Will Work for Shoes – The Business Behind Red Carpet Product Placement” will help you lay the foundation, plot your tactic and offer some resources.   Anyone can do it – and they have.

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