How Luxury Fashion Brands Took Celebrity Partnerships to the Next Level This Event Season

By Jenny Tsai, Founder and CEO, WeArisma

When analysing this year’s red carpet season, it’s clear that the power of celebrity still reigns for spotlighting luxury brands. Our earned media platform, however, shows that some brands have taken their marketing strategies to the next level by growing their cultural and regional relevance through collaborations with influential sources at the forefront of popular culture.

Here are our top takeaways from some of the most successful luxury earned media strategies this event season…

Riding on the cultural wave of Hollywood’s films and trends

Brands are using the power of storytelling, TV and film to align with the right trends and topics and grow their cultural relevance. During this award season, some did this through “method dressing”, a marketing technique in which actors and actresses use fashion to personify characters, bringing them to life beyond the screen.

A prominent example was Emma Stone who was dressed by Louis Vuitton across her award show appearances in outfits inspired by her Poor Things character, Bella Baxter. The actress’s advocacy for the brand and inspired looks secured Louis Vuitton $6.5M in media value across posts mentioning the collaboration.

Margot Robbie also embraced her Barbie character and immersed herself in the Barbiecore trend by wearing Barbie-inspired outfits by Balmain, Schiaparelli and Giorgio Armani to name a few. She generated a lot of media attention and the association between the character and brands left a lasting impression. For example, her appearance in a Giorgio Armani recreation of the dress worn by Superstar Barbie in 1977 generated $5M in media value for the brand. 

Partnering with celebrities at the forefront of popular culture to drive cultural relevance

The power of celebrity influence to drive interest in luxury brands has surged with the rise of social media. Nonetheless, brands need an effective, carefully thought out strategy if they hope to navigate the algorithm and secure share of voice and model within a highly competitive market. This starts with choosing the right celebrities to partner with, which does not necessarily mean the biggest names with the largest audiences, but rather the figures that resonate with a brand’s values that can grow cultural relevance.

Take Gucci, who dressed the biggest celebrity of the moment, and benefited from the ‘Swift Effect’ at this year’s awards shows. The brand secured an extraordinary 33% of its $22M total awards show media value solely from the content around Taylor Swift’s Golden Globes dress.

Despite attending just two awards shows, Swift was the most talked about celebrity across the season, earning over $109M in media value across the events. By associating with the star, Gucci gained the attention of her extensive fan base and further increased their cultural relevance.

Collaborating with influential regional celebrities to increase share of voice in key markets

With the luxury fashion market in Asia expected to reach $34 billion in 2024 and consumer purchasing decisions being heavily driven by influential sources, partnerships with APAC personalities are key to growing brand market share in Asia.

Famous APAC celebrities have driven an impressive $74.6M in media value for 20 of the top luxury brands this award season. Dior and Cartier earned the most at $10.7M and $51M, respectively.

Versace gained notable attention from Harper’s Bazaar Singapore as a result of its partnerships with Chinese singer Ningning and South Korean rapper Hyunjin at Milan Fashion Week. Posts about the celebrities from the publication secured Versace $380K in media value showcasing how engaging with the right regional celebrities who have the attention of local consumers can drum up relevance in regional markets.

The golden rule: Authenticity is key to successful partnerships

2024’s Red Carpet season has demonstrated that the right celebrity partnerships have an extraordinary power to amplify brand affinity and share of voice. While such partnerships are vital to luxury brand success, they should not be entered into lightly. Brands need to ensure that influential figures resonate with brand values to protect their reputation and ensure authenticity. Only then will partnerships have the potential to drive brand loyalty among consumers and ensure brands are at the forefront of the right conversations.