A fashion soap opera befit of catwalk kings and queens enters its next episode when London Fashion Week starts this Friday and takes over from where New York left.  But these days aren’t just about the catwalk shows, with celebrities’ guests, young talent and great after-party shows.  It’s about the exhibitions, the hype and the machines behind them that are working hard to keep London ahead in the fashion race, especially since New York decided to move the date of their Fall 2009 to nearly coincide with the start of London’s Autumn/Winter presentations.

While New York rakes in the money through media and sponsorship deals London will lead with its collection of cutting-edge British designers that lead by example.  New and established designers such as Meadham Kirchhoff, Chritopher Kane, House of Holland, Paul Smith and Vivienne Westwood will once again lay down the marker with unique shows and styles.  Some at private events, so to befit the economic climate and capture the mood of the people and the media.

While in New York it’s all about the catwalk show, non-conformist London will be free to express itself with minimal and less ostentatious shows.  Understated might be the word, bringing new designs closer to us so that we can adapt it and create our own style.  Who knows, maybe it’ll distract us from all the negative and oh so consuming news.

I’ll be at London Fashion Week bringing you updates on the exhibitions, the style and the PR.  These events are crafted and I’ll be bringing you updates on how London Fashion Week responds to New York.

In front of the camera once again
In front of the camera once again

Morph will today be celebrating with Champagne after securing what we can only dream off, to appear on the cover of men’s magazine Esquire.

After years of living in a pencil box, the reclusive Morph agreed to Esquire’s request to tribute his artistic associate the late Tony Hart, who died earlier this month at the age of 83.

A style icon to naturists everywhere since he first appeared on our screens in 1977, the dapper looking Morph selected some of this season’s must haves for the shoot, including items by Hermes, Gucci and Prada.  Accessories by Paul Smith and Louis Vuitton were also on show.

Casting an eye over the accessories
Casting an eye over the accessories

It is not clear if Morph will be attending the up coming London Fashion Week, which takes place between 20 and 25 February, nor if he gave an interview to this leading men’s monthly title.

We’ll have to wait until 5 February to find out more.


For a fistful of dollars!
For a fistful of dollars!

Andy Warhol famously said forty years ago “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.”  And everybody today really does have the opportunity for fame or infamy.  You don’t need any special talent or skill nowadays, you simply have to be present, in the right place and at the right time, and often on the right reality TV show.  The rest, well, you just leave it to the PRs whose job it is to squeeze out every single dollar or pound from the fifteen minutes of fame.

Fame today has become cheap, anybody can be famous.  You just need to post something online, a ‘Paris’ video, email, whatever.  You can make yourself famous quite easily in fact.  But, being famous doesn’t mean that you will be a star.  Celebrity today is throwaway gossip, it keeps tongues wagging, that’s all.  The stars are the ones that can pick and choose how they wish to be seen.  They are the ones that have a certain skill or talent – actors, sportsmen and women, models, musicians, artists.  Just think about it, it is their talent first and their celebrity second.  And for us PRs they are the ones that we want to work with when promoting something.

Yet celebrity culture has made us PRs quite lazy.  I mean, a client comes along, they want to promote a new product, something for a specific age- group.  Hmmm.  Difficult that, I mean, what can we do to promote this product well and effectively.  Ah, I know, let’s sign up a celebrity, somebody that everybody recognises.  Perfect, it’s done, after jumping through a few hoops with publicists, agents and so on, we have a deal.  And generally we have a product launch where media have come to see the celebrity that is endorsing the product that we’ve been asked to launch.  But that is the problem, more often than not PRs think of the media coverage for the launch, and sell this as a success to the client.  Yep, paparazzo’s were there, tick, so were journalists – who were more mainly interested in the celebrity rather than the product, oooh, better spin that to the client, tick – broadcast media, yep.  In all a success.

But do we think of the brand of the celebrity?  Is their stock rising or falling?  Do we have a strategy? What do people like us think of them, and I mean really think of them?  Does the partnership make any sense?  Will it enhance and generate sales?  And have we maximised every single second from the partnership?

It’s all very different to the early 20th century when the culture of celebrity was born.  Back then celebrities were people that appeared on the silver screen.  The A-list celebrities were US actors that worked in Hollywood.  It was their lives that were followed by newspapers and photographers.  UK actors aspired of featuring in a Hollywood blockbuster and until they did so they knew that they hadn’t really made it.  But you didn’t need to be an actor to become a celebrity, even sports personalities had the opportunity to secure fame, like Baseball’s Joe DiMaggio who married the biggest celebrity of them all Marilyn Monroe.  And today, footballers and athletes make their money from celebrity and endorsements.

Thanks to the global mass market media today everybody can be somebody.  And if you manage to make it, if you get your fifteen minutes, you work hard to remain a celebrity for longer than fifteen days, or months or years.  You’ve endorsed some hair straighteners, opened a few stores, written a biography or two.  That kind of thing.  Sadly, for many, it is a quick bite of the cake and a few scrapings in our life books for the future.

And for us PRs, well, some are lazy and just think of the cuttings book for our client, the glamorous launch party, the free drinks and so on.  Celebrity has dumbed down PR, with people thinking of our job as just media relations.  Yep, brand management and development, reputation management, event management, promotions, etc, etc, etc, well it isn’t seen as PR.  Yet that is what we do and what our job offers, strategy and management.

Just remember, if your business is throw-a-way then use a throw-a-way celebrity, if it is more, then choose yours with care.

Yes, Coleen McLoughlin, the self-style queen of the wag pack has publicly declared her occupation as being that of a “journalist.” Or at least that what she’s stated in her wedding banns at Crewe registry office. Maybe she thinks this as being her job because she picks up a ‘meagre’ £10,000 for her weekly column for Closer. Continue reading “Coleen's a-scribing hack”

Terminal 5 respects no-one as Kate Moss and la Campell experience the hell of Heathrow.

Yet while Naomi managed to get herself arrested, again – it’s amazing how T5 can set you off, Kate Moss and stylist James Brown took the 2-hour delay in their stride and relaxed before jetting off to Los Angeles.  Great crisis consumer PR for the Heathrow team, when they thought they had it all covered.  Whatever next?!

In the meantime BA and BAA are continuing to waste more time in pointing the finger at each other, with nobody backing down in their battle of wills as to who is ultimately responsible for the shambles of this new hyper-inflated-of a mess terminal. Making London and the so-called world’s favourite airline a joke.

The sooner they learn than when you have a problem you fix it before pointing the finger, the faster we’ll all feel like Very Important Passengers.