Media

Emma Stone, Haim Sisters Appear in Louis Vuitton Campaign

Emma Stone, Haim Sisters Appear in Louis Vuitton Campaign

The Haim sisters — Este, Danielle and Alana — have cemented their relationship with Louis Vuitton by appearing in their first campaign for the French luxury house.
The sibling musicians, who perform as Haim, feature in the brand’s fall 2023 ads, which also star Emma Stone, who has been an ambassador of the house since 2017.

Stone appeared in her first Vuitton campaign in 2018 and has since racked up appearances for the brand, including fragrance and handbag ads.

Her next film, “Poor Things,” is set to premiere at the Venice Film Festival, which runs from Aug. 30 to Sept. 9, although it is unclear whether the Screen Actors Guild strike will be resolved in time for Stone to walk the red carpet.

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Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton’s fall 2023 campaign.

David Sims/Courtesy of Louis Vuitton

David Sims photographed the images, which broke in Harper’s Bazaar France on Wednesday, at the National Archives, a historic building in the Marais district of Paris, and the Hôtel Pozzo di Borgo, an 18th century private mansion in the French capital that was formerly home to designer Karl Lagerfeld.

Since attending their first Vuitton show in March 2022, the Haim sisters have developed a strong relationship with Nicolas Ghesquière, the brand’s artistic director of women’s collections. They wore the brand to events including the Oscars, the BAFTAs and Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards.

“We are huge fans of Nicolas — as a great friend and an incredible designer — so we were so excited when he asked us to be part of this campaign. We saw the show in March which is always an amazing experience but then stepping into the looks, it really felt like becoming characters in his ‘French story’ — feeling empowered by the elegant yet strong designs,” they said in a statement.

The trio are portrayed wearing matching embroidered camisole tops, black pants with split knees and black sandals.

On the red carpet, they often wear different outfits, like at the 2022 Oscars, where Alana Haim donned a mermaid-inspired ivory embroidered Vuitton gown to celebrate her star turn in “Licorice Pizza,” while Danielle and Este selected black and blue gowns, respectively.

The sisters have had an upward trajectory since the release of their acclaimed debut album, “Days Are Gone,” in 2013. Their album “Women in Music Pt. III” received a nomination for Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammy Awards.

They have forged strong links with the fashion industry, wearing looks from the likes of Chloé and Dior, and collaborating with Los Angeles-based clothing brand Reformation in 2016 on a New Year’s Eve collection. A dedicated website, @whatwouldhaimwear, tracks their outfit choices.

Laura Merritt, Lauren Tate Merge to Form Merritt Tate

Laura Merritt, Lauren Tate Merge to Form Merritt Tate

THE SOCIAL NETWORK: Over the past few years, London’s fashion PR network has become a bustling business that goes beyond just placing brands in the limelight, but rather training them to create content, strategize their sustainability initiatives and occupy a space on social media, as well as opening lifestyle and influencer divisions. 
Laura Meritt is taking her business to the next level by partnering with Lauren Tate to form Merritt Tate, a fashion PR consultancy specializing in traditional PR, events, influencer and brand partnerships.

Merritt and Tate met nine years ago at fashion PR agency ModusBPCM, where Merritt was a senior account executive and Tate worked in the showroom as a collections coordinator, but the real working relationship between the two women started when they were promoted to account manager and senior account executive, respectively.

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They worked on accounts such as Bally and Calvin Klein during their 18-month stint together before moving onto new ventures.

Lauren Tate and Laura Merritt

Cece Di Paolo

Merritt climbed the ladders to become account director at ModusBPCM, working on Hobbs, Sergio Rossi, Carolina Herrera and all divisions of Calvin Klein. Meanwhile, Tate moved to Karla Otto, spending five years with the agency, eventually becoming senior account manager on accounts such as Cecilie Bahnsen, Rimowa, Halpern and Atelier Swarovski  before leaving for the role of account director at L52 Communications, where she looked after Loro Piana, Mowalola, Khaite and The Standard Ibiza.

When Merritt quit her job in July 2019, she wasn’t anticipating going back into business again so quickly.

A month after, personal shopper and stylist Bettina Looney reached out to her to organize an event and then jewelry brand Daphine did the same.

“When I was interviewing with other agencies, it all just felt like the same role, but kind of in a different place, which obviously, was an amazing role. I loved what I did, I loved my clients, but I was just ready for a change,” said Meritt, who ended up organically working for herself with no team. 

She would take on freelance projects with other agencies, but as the word of mouth grew with more brands approaching her through friends that she had made in the industry, she thought about getting more serious, which is around the time that Tate was leaving her job to take a pause from the industry by visiting her brother in Australia for a whole month.

When Tate came back from her trip, Merritt was in search of somebody to cover for her while she went away for a family vacation to the South Pacific, from Fiji to Tahiti.

The two continued to work together for a year.

“It just came to a point where I didn’t really want to do it on my own anymore. It’s really good to have someone who is like a partner and who can share the load and bounce ideas off of,” Merritt said about partnering with Tate.

“What’s nice as well is that we’re friends, so you can say anything and have a very open, honest conversation,” Tate added.

Merritt Tate’s client list now includes Daphine, Peachy Den, Pruzan, The Fall Bride, Form and Fold, TBalance Crystals, Sandqvist, Wild at Heart and Daisy Jewellery.

“I didn’t ever want it to be my name anymore and I kind of never wanted it to be my name, but obviously with PR, so much of it is about your name,” said Merritt, explaining that it was a mutual friend who suggested the consultancy’s new name.

Louis Vuitton Unveils First Campaign With Zendaya

Louis Vuitton Unveils First Campaign With Zendaya

Zendaya’s presence at the Louis Vuitton show in Paris last month sparked rumors that the “Euphoria” star might be joining the French fashion house’s starry roster of brand ambassadors.
Vuitton confirmed her new role on Thursday by unveiling her first campaign as the face of its bestselling Capucines handbag. In the images lensed by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, Zendaya poses against the backdrop of E-1027, the modernist villa designed by Eileen Gray located in the French town of Roquebrune-Cap-Martin near Monaco.

“From poolside to terrace, balcony to rooftop, day to night, the award-winning actress imbues the campaign and Capucines with a fresh yet sensual grace,” the brand said in a statement.

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Zendaya, who in January received the Golden Globe award for Best Television Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of the drug-addicted Rue in “Euphoria,” was previously a house ambassador for Valentino since 2020.

She has also appeared in campaigns for jeweler Bulgari and is the face of beauty brand Lancôme’s Idôle fragrance.

Her first Vuitton campaign, which shows her posing with a variety of Capucines models including a miniature Capucines BB, was styled by Law Roach.

It is understood the campaign was shot before the celebrity stylist announced his retirement last month, sparking speculation of a rift with Zendaya after a seating confusion at the Vuitton show that was captured on video, showing Roach did not have a seat next to his longtime friend and client.  

Roach later clarified that while Zendaya was taken by surprise by his announcement that he was pivoting to a new career, their relationship is intact. “We are forever,” he wrote on Twitter. The two subsequently posed together at the opening of the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Center in Mumbai earlier this month.

Vuitton declined to comment on whether Roach would be involved in future campaigns or events featuring Zendaya.

The Capucines handbag, launched in 2013, is named after the Rue Neuve-des-Capucines, the Paris street where Louis Vuitton opened his first store in 1854. The bag has featured in ad campaigns starring the likes of Cate Blanchett, Emma Stone, Naomi Osaka and Léa Seydoux.

EXCLUSIVE: Eden and Forbidden Fruit Inspire Etro’s First Ads Under Marco De Vincenzo

EXCLUSIVE: Eden and Forbidden Fruit Inspire Etro’s First Ads Under Marco De Vincenzo

MILAN — The red apples harnessed in gold chains and dangling from some models’ hands at Marco De Vincenzo’s debut show for Etro last September are to land on billboards and the streets of international cities.

The fruit — and its fancy accessory that drew attention at the show — appears as a recurring element in Etro’s spring 2023 advertising campaign and is set to play an even bigger role in a series of activations the brand plans.

Titled “Eden of Etropìa,” the campaign that Etro will release Monday recreates a dreamy scenario at the intersection of fantasy and reality and evokes paintings and portraits of the Pre-Raphaelites, which De Vincenzo told WWD have inspired the campaign.

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“The apple takes center stage as a symbol of love, seduction and immortality. A bite of it represents the parting of mankind from nature and the origin of the artificial world,” said the designer.

An image from the Etro spring 2023 advertising campaign.

Zhong Lin/Courtesy of Etro

Hence the traditional bucolic representation of Eden is switched in favor of giant stairs and walls creating a surreal labyrinth, where Iman Kaumann, Akon Changkou and Livia H are envisioned like “tightrope walkers, nymphs, sorceresses and princesses,” said De Vincenzo.

Shot in London by Malaysian photographer Zhong Lin, the models wear key looks from the collection styled by Gabriella Karefa-Johnson. They range from crop tops and denim separates to the roomy silhouettes of a black gown — all enriched with prints and embroideries of floral motifs, fruits and birds.

An image from the Etro spring 2023 advertising campaign.

Zhong Lin/Courtesy of Etro

While being the first developed under De Vincenzo, the campaign was conceived as the third act of his “Etropìa” visual journey, said the company. The first chapter was “Manifesto,” a series of portraits the fashion house released ahead of its spring 2023 show to express the quest for freedom and individuality through color that the new creative director was committed to pursuing at the brand. The second was the initial women’s show itself, which was dubbed “Master of Textiles.”

Quickly following the release of the campaign, the fourth chapter of De Vincenzo’s vision will be “Wonderland of Etropìa,” which will a global push of activations, including retail and wholesale pop-ups that will land in 10 capitals around the world starting Wednesday.

As well as appearing across digital platforms, social media and billboards, Etro will implement the campaign in a dedicated mural in Milan and will roll out maxi outdoor installations of scaled-up apples in cities including London, Paris and New York.

An image from the Etro spring 2023 advertising campaign.

Zhong Lin/Courtesy of Etro

From this week until July, giant apples will also feature in a series of pop-ups and pop-ins to appear in selected Etro boutiques worldwide and international department stores.

The fruit’s global takeover will kick off in Japan’s Isetan and across Europe, the U.S., South Korea and China.

The opening of the Isetan pop-up store will also land in the metaverse with a virtual replica of the department store and the Shinjuku district developed in partnership with the Rev Worlds app. Exclusively for the Japanese audience, the “Wonderland of Etropìa” pop-up space will be recreated in 3D for an immersive gamification experience.

Meanwhile, pop-ups will also appear in Milan, New York and Paris, followed by Osaka, Seoul, Busan, Beijing, Chengdu, Yokohama and Singapore, among others. Retailers involved in the project will include Rinascente, Le Bon Marché and Selfridges, as well as Breuninger in Germany, LuisaWorld in Greece and Aïshti in Lebanon, to name a few.

Further marking the “Etropía” project, selected locations will carry a limited-edition series of the upcycled Love Trotter tote bag, an initiative De Vincenzo kick-started under a see-now-buy-now formula at the end of his first show. Different versions of the bag will be exclusive to each market, but all styles feature the bold motifs and patterns of the deadstock fabrics hailing from Etro’s rich textile archives, handles in recycled plastic and embroidery of the brand’s Pegasus logo.

One of the Love Trotter tote bags exclusive to the U.S.

Courtesy of Etro

H&M Responds to Complaints Over Justin Bieber Merchandise

H&M Responds to Complaints Over Justin Bieber Merchandise

Swedish fast-fashion retailer H&M has responded to accusations leveled by singer Justin Bieber that he had not approved merchandise featuring his likeness and lyrics.
The singer posted to Instagram Stories Monday afternoon to express his disapproval.

“I didn’t approve any of the merch collection that they put up at H&M,” Bieber wrote. “All without my permission and approval. [SMH] I wouldn’t buy it if I were you.”

Bieber’s likeness appears on items including a sweatshirt, a dress, T-shirt and a tote bag. The lyrics “I miss you more than life” from his song “Ghost” appear on a hoodie that retails for $39.99, as well as a phone case.

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In a second Instagram Stories post, Bieber further encouraged fans to stay away from the items. “I didn’t approve it, don’t buy it,” he said, and called the line “trash.”

In a statement released to WWD, a spokesperson for the Swedish brand stated: “As with all other licensed products and partnerships, H&M followed proper approval procedures.” The brand said the merchandise will remain on sale. “As it stands now,” the representative said, “we need to look into this more to understand, before we take any other actions.”

Bieber and H&M have a history. The singer collaborated with the brand back in 2017 on a collection of merchandise after Bieber canceled the last leg of his Purpose tour dates.

That collaboration was called the Stadium Tour collection, which featured hoodies, sweatpants, graphic Ts and bomber jackets that resembled his official tour merchandise and were priced from $20 to $60. Designs included flag prints and skate-style logos, as well as images of the singer.

Bieber also previously collaborated with Forever 21 on a collection of tour merchandise ahead of his Purpose tour, which featured his official logo and likeness, and ranged from $18 to $35, and with accessories brand Claire’s on a collection of hats, phone cases, pillows and backpacks.

How Five Independent Magazines Are Exploring More Than Fashion

How Five Independent Magazines Are Exploring More Than Fashion

MILAN — Do you remember what it was like to flip through a printed magazine?Even the predominantly digital era we are now experiencing — especially during the pandemic — young journalists and creatives are establishing print publications.
These five independent magazines explore themes of feminism, art, music, culture and sex and the sophisticated and carefully curated pages of each issue contribute to an aesthetically pleasing effect.
WWD has compiled a selection of five Italian zines for you to discover.
1. Dàme magazine
Sara Augugliaro is the 22-year-old creator behind feminist independent magazine Dàme, exploring the theme of the female body and aiming to stimulate a debate on self-awareness, normalization and self-acceptance.

Dàme magazine
Courtesy of Dàme Magazine

The first issue of Dàme is named “Pancia” (belly in Italian) and each page navigates the various meanings of this body part. Augugliaro states, “Over the years, there have been studies that reconstructed the social and cultural meanings linked to parts of the female body, but so far, no one has focused on the belly because it has never been present in the collective imagination, except as the uterus. Therefore, we wanted to explore this part of the body, which is equally full of references.”

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Dàme magazine’s first issue
Courtesy of Dàme Magazine

The magazine is available to buy on the Frabs Magazines website. It is shipping in Italy and will soon be available in the U.K.
2. Virtus Magazine
This independent magazine was founded by Accademia del Lusso, the fashion school based on Milan’s Via Montenapoleone training professional figures within the industry. It is the first Italian publication edited by a fashion school.

Virtus Magazine’s third issue
Courtesy of Virtus Magazine

Virtus promotes the work of fashion students studying areas including journalism, styling and photography. Nicola Ievola, professor of fashion journalism at the institute, and Noemi Vanda Bruni, who teaches fashion styling, are the minds behind Virtus.

Inside Virtus Magazine
Courtesy of Virtus Magazine

Within the pages of the third issue, the magazine explores how the Renaissance movement is coming back with a more modern look. It explores on the historical period, with insights into how its coming back in the fashion industry.
3. Sali e Tabacchi
Sali e Tabacchi is a small, traditional shop in Italy where you buy candies, cigars, spices, cigarettes and chocolate. It is this mix of senses that this independent magazine, born in 2019, is trying to replicate. With a focus on Italian culture, it offers a variety of experimental content, including interviews with internationally acclaimed Italian cultural leaders, visual poetry, academic essays and recipes.

Sali e Tabacchi magazine
Courtesy of Sali e Tabacchi Magazine

Like many independent magazines, photography is one of the main elements that characterizes Sali e Tabacchi. Readers will be able to find secret corners, unexplored landscapes, stories from the past and from the present — the true image of a hidden Italy.

Sali e Tabacchi magazine
Courtesy of Sali e Tabacchi Magazine

4. Archivio magazine
The goal of this fashion magazine is to highlight innovation, aiming to bring to life different fashion and cultural eras. Archivio’s sixth issue explores the ’80s with a fine selection from runways that have made history; it also features writers, poets and politicians.

Archivio magazine
Courtesy of Archivio Magazine

Inside this issue, readers will find exclusive material from Giorgio Armani Atelier; an interview with Gao Xingjian, the first Chinese writer to win a Nobel prize; Vivienne Westwood, and many others who share insights into the decade.

Archivio magazine
Courtesy of Archivio Magazine

The magazine is also characterized by 80 pages of images, ranging from posters, documents, sketches, scripts, artistic projects, agendas, diaries and materials that come from 23 different archives.
5. Carnale magazine
Taste, sight, touch, hearing and smell. Erotic and unconventional, this independent magazine will trigger each of the five senses. Focused on fashion, it celebrates attraction through a cross-media attitude where paper is interactive.

Carnale Calendar 2022
Courtesy of Carnale Magazine

For this reason, Carnale offers augmented reality through the use of an app: by pointing at the print pages, it will show moving images on your screen. This independent publication founded by Augusto Arduini (art director) and Simone Cossettini (photographer), is definitely moving toward a new version of fashion media.

Moschino, Michael Kors and Christian Siriano Top Most Social Media Engagements During NYFW

Moschino, Michael Kors and Christian Siriano Top Most Social Media Engagements During NYFW

While social media engagement wasn’t as high as it was in 2019, New York Fashion Week still managed to engage people’s attention online.According to data from ListenFirst, a social analytics platform, the brands that topped social media engagement during NYFW (Sept. 7 to 12), in order, were Moschino, Michael Kors, Christian Sirano, Carolina Herrera, LaQuan Smith, Coach, Oscar de la Renta, Tom Ford, Tory Burch and Telfar.
The social engagement score is based on the volume of post responses, fan growth across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and hashtag and handle mentions on Twitter compared to the spring 2020 season, which took place from Sept. 6 to Sept. 11, 2019. (The September 2020 show week was mostly virtual).

“The excitement around the Moschino and Michael Kors shows is an encouraging reminder that timing the right new collection with a gathering of celebrities still captures the internet’s attention,” said Jonathan Cohen, director, content and communications at ListenFirst. “Still, the overall social media data indicates New York Fashion Week will need more than one cycle to return to pre-pandemic levels of engagement. For example, 131,486 Tweets mentioned New York Fashion Week between Sept. 7 and Sept. 12, 2021, which was a 48 percent decrease from the 252,996 Tweets that mentioned New York Fashion Week between Sept. 6 and 11, 2019. There isn’t an overnight fix for the past 18 months, but the return to an in-person fashion week was definitely a step in the right direction for the industry.”

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The top 10 brand breakdown (social engagement score and percentage change from September 2019) was:
Moschino: 974,193, up 164 percent
Michael Kors: 695,804, down 94 percent
Christian Siriano: 347, 815, down 12 percent
Carolina Herrera: 337, 457, down 10 percent
LaQuan Smith: 181,767, up 20 percent
Coach: 147, 290, down 40 percent
Oscar de la Renta: 143, 344, down 48 percent
Tom Ford: 137,207, down 71 percent
Tory Burch: 111,803, down 47 percent
Telfar: 91,533, up 284 percent
Among some of the specific results, ListenFirst noted that the audience at Moschino connected with Jeremy Scott’s playful, nursery school inspired collection. For example, he showed a cartoon animal-print dress, complete with an elephant trunk sleeve modeled by Gigi Hadid, which received 149,837 responses on Instagram and was the most popular post by a brand participating in NYFW. A Moschino post sharing a heart-shaped handbag received 85,517 responses, while a repost about Aaron Rose Philip, the first Black, transgender and disabled model to sign with a leading agency, who walked in the show, generated 75,392 responses.
The best-performing Michael Kors post received 91,093 responses on Facebook and showed Hailee Steinfeld and Kate Hudson in the audience of the spring 2022 fashion show, which ListenFirst said “was a great reminder of how brands benefit on social media from celebrities returning to in person runway shows.” The zebra wool jacquard dress Steinfeld was wearing was linked on Facebook as a purchasable product, adding to its appeal with consumers. Meanwhile, Kendall Jenner walking the Tavern on the Green runway in a bra and black pencil skirt had 76,784 responses on Instagram, the second best performing Michael Kors post during fashion week.

Hailee Steinfeld at Michael Kors.
Lexie Moreland for WWD

The best-performing Christian Siriano post during New York Fashion Week, where he shared his new denim collection for Gloria Vanderbilt jeans, received 42,133 responses on Instagram.

Christian Siriano’s Instagram post revealing he’s the new designer of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans.
Instagram post.

Meanwhile, LaQuan Smith’s top Instagram post during NYFW showed four models posting in black bodysuits at the top of the Empire State Building and received 30,371 responses. A gallery of a pregnant Kylie Jenner in a Chantilly lace catsuit and wrap skirt got Smith 21,643 responses on Instagram.

Instagram post of models posting in LaQuan Smith at the top of the Empire State Building.
Instagram post.

According to ListenFirst, Herrera stood out at NYFW by remixing past looks as the company celebrated its 40th anniversary. With 36,031 responses on Instagram, their top-performing post showed a side by side comparison of creative director Wes Gordon reimagining a printed polka-dot dress from Carolina Herrera’s 1983 runway show. Another variation on the sleeveless black-and-white dress generated 22,076 responses on Instagram for Herrera.

Carolina Herrera then and now Instagram post.

FOR MORE STORIES:
Michael Kors Scores First Place in Social Media Engagement During NYFW
Michael Kors Again Leads in NYFW Social Engagement, Study Says

Justin Bieber Stars in Balenciaga’s New Campaign

Justin Bieber Stars in Balenciaga’s New Campaign

MOONLIGHTING: A meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron wasn’t the only thing on Justin Bieber’s Paris agenda last month.
Rumors that the “Sorry” singer had taken advantage of his romantic getaway with wife Hailey Bieber in the French capital to shoot a Balenciaga campaign were confirmed on Friday, when the brand dropped the first of a series of portraits by American art photographer Katy Grannan.
To be revealed in three phases, the visuals also feature French actress Isabelle Huppert, alongside regular Balenciaga runway models Eliza Douglas, Awar Adhiero Odhiang, Anania Orgeas, Isabelle Weldon Herouard, Minttu Vesala, Litay Marcus, Emmanuel Culkin Mugisha, Abdou Diop, Taishi Suzuki and Hans Schmidt.

Isabelle Huppert in the Balenciaga campaign. 
Katy Grannan/Courtesy of Balenciaga

Shot on sets that evoke the atmosphere of Los Angeles parking lots, in a nod to Grannan’s street portraits, they show the models in seasonless ready-to-wear and accessories, including the Le Cagole handbag, named after derogatory French slang for people with a tacky dress sense.
Bieber wears the introduced DIY Runner sneakers, which feature a one-of-a-kind, handmade vintage look by using raw cuts, stitches and glue for the mesh and leather upper.
In the fall, Balenciaga unveiled a giant billboard on the side of the Louvre museum starring Cardi B, reclining on fake grass surrounded by kids’ toys. Stars including Hailey Bieber, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are regulars at creative director Demna Gvasalia’s runway shows, including his recent debut at Paris Couture Week.

Balenciaga’s Le Cagole handbag. 
Courtesy of Balenciaga

SEE ALSO:
Cardi B Takes Over Louvre With Balenciaga Billboard
Inside Balenciaga’s Couture Comeback
Launch of Balenciaga Runner to Be Offered Exclusively at Kith

Teen Vogue and Allure’s Fashion Director Joins Snap

Teen Vogue and Allure’s Fashion Director Joins Snap

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, looked to Condé Nast once again when it came to filling its main fashion role.
The social media platform has tapped Rajni Jacques, most recently fashion director at Condé Nast brands Teen Vogue and Allure, as head of fashion and beauty partnerships. Jacques, who has also worked in the fashion departments of an array of other titles including InStyle, Glamour, Nylon, The Fader, Vibe and Honey, will be based in New York and will report to John Imah, head of brand and games partnerships.
The last person in the Snap role was former Vogue accessories editor Selby Drummond, who departed in October to become chief brand officer at Bumble. Prior to that, Drummond took a sabbatical to work on Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign.

In her new role, Rajni will help Snap’s fashion partners build their presence on Snapchat and innovate with new opportunities, including AR, Bitmoji, content and more.
Its AR features include new gesture recognition capabilities that allow users to signal to the camera with their hands when they want to check out a bag so they can see how it physically looks on their body. It has been used by a number of luxe brands such as Prada for its marquee Galleria bags.
Farfetch, meanwhile, has been using Snapchat’s new voice-enabled controls for AR try-ons where users can virtually try on Off-White’s Melange Tomboy Jacket or Maize & Camou Windbreakers.

These People of Color-owned Influencer Agencies Are Advancing Opportunities for People of Color

These People of Color-owned Influencer Agencies Are Advancing Opportunities for People of Color

Updated: March 4
The multibillion-dollar influencer industry must diversify to ensure equity among influencers of all races.
Racism manifests in a variety of ways within the industry — among them are pay disparity, tokenism and bias. In light of the global antiracism movement, some influencer agencies have rethought their practices: Fohr established a Diversity Advisory Board and MagicLinks’ diversity, equity and inclusion team recently implemented a 30 percent minimum requirement for racial diversity of talent in all campaigns.
As brands consider how to promote greater diversity through their activations, WWD is highlighting influencer agencies that are owned by people of color.

The Hyphen8
Influencer management and public relations company The Hyphen8 was founded by fashion and beauty p.r. veteran Taj Alwan. The agency works with talent such as Salem Mitchell, Devon Lee and Sydney Carlson and Chad Douglas, as well as luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Versace, Burberry, Prada and Dior Beauty.
G&B
Formerly known as God & Beauty, G&B is an influencer agency founded and owned by Kyle Hjelmeseth in 2015. The company counts more than 80 clients and has reached nearly $4 million in profits since it was founded. Kendra Bracken-Ferguson, cofounder of well-known influencer agency Digital Brand Architects, joined G&B’s advisory board in November.

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Society 18
Pamela Zapata is a former talent and marketing executive who has worked with a number of beauty brands in The Estée Lauder Cos. Inc portfolio. She is the founder and CEO of bicoastal consulting agency Society Eighteen. Since its founding two years ago, the agency has focused largely on multicultural influencers and has run more than 250 campaigns.
NYCXSTUDIO

NYCXSTUDIO is a newly formed consulting agency founded by sisters Shelcy and Christy Joseph, known as @nycxclothes on Instagram. The sisters, who have professional backgrounds in both editorial and digital marketing, aim to “humanize” influencer marketing, they said, by helping brands with content creation, content strategy, influencer casting, diversity and inclusion consulting and social media strategy.
Estate Five
Estate Five is a talent management agency cofounded in 2017 by Suzanne Droese, Lynsey Eaton and Tina Craig, the influencer known online as @bagsnob and founder of U Beauty. The agency currently works with 54 influencers, such as Diet Prada, Erica Choi and Micaela Erlanger.
Candace Marie 

Prior to launching her eponymous consulting agency, Candace Marie Stewart ran social media for Barneys New York and Prada Group. She is a part-time lecturer at Parsons School of Design, where she teaches about communication and social media. In 2020, she founded Black in Corporate, an online resource for Black individuals in corporate jobs.
Kensington Grey Agency
Kensington Grey Agency is a boutique firm that has worked with brands like J. Crew, Ikea, DSW and Sephora. Cofounded by Shannae Ingleton Smith, the agency represents influencers with a variety of followings and works with brands on influencer marketing, casting, talent strategy and campaign management.
2 Black Girls
2 Black Girls Consulting was founded by editor-influencers Chrissy Rutherford, a contributing editor at Bazaar.com, and Danielle Prescod, formerly BET.com’s style director, in June 2020. 2BG Consulting currently offers an antiracism seminar, held online.
Black Girl Digital
Black Girl Digital is an agency that aims to close the pay gap between Black and white influencers. Based in New York City, Black Girl Digital established Influencer Linkr, an influencer relationship management platform, in 2020. The platform aims to pair agencies and brands with influencers of color.

Noire MGMT

Ernest B. James, an alum of LaForce and APA PR, founded Noire Management, an influencer and marketing agency focusing on multicultural influencers, in 2018. James joined the diversity advisory board of Fohr, an influencer agency founded by James Nord that was accused in 2020 of discriminating against Black creators.
More from WWD.com:
Pay Disparity, Tokenism, Bias: Racism in the Influencer Industry
Influencers Are Driving Sales Through Texting
Report: Beauty Brands Returned to Posting Darker Skin Tones Over Holidays

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