Menswear designers were relatively slow to capitalise on the cachet that can be gained from using super suave, and sexy, male celebrities to model their collections. The use of starlets in the world of female fashion has been ubiquitous for many years but finally menswear is getting in on the act.
The success to be derived from this marketing ploy is demonstrated by the hit figures for the American website 'Trend-hunter.' This site functions by allowing viewers to trend hunt the clothes worn by their favoured celebrity. Paparazzi shots are posted online for fans perusal, and it is then possible to purchase the clothes they are sporting. Originally, the site only catered for women's fashion but it has now expanded to include menswear, demonstrating the influence famous men can exert on clothing trends.
Bizarrely, it is often the fictional characters played by these famous guys that men are looking to emulate. This autumn, it is the fashion of Don Draper and his cohorts from Madison Avenue of the 1960s, who are having the greatest effect on high street trends. Hence we have witnessed the arrival of suits with tapered trousers and thin lapelled jackets.
It was Giorgio Armani who first appreciated the influence male celebrities could exert on fashion. In 1995, he collaborated with the goalie David James, sending him down the catwalk and using him to front his diffusion label 'Armani Jeans.' After witnessing Armani's successful marketing campaigns, other designers moved in on the act, and today male stars, moonlighting as models, are commonplace. The recent Calvin Klein X Underwear Campaign capitalised on worldwide celebrity cachet by using stars from across the globe to headline their adverts. Furthermore, they selected men who would appeal to the most comprehensive demographic. This included: Kellan Lutz of 'Twilight' fame -to appeal to the teenage male, the Japanese football superstar, Hidetoshi Nakata, in order, not only to focus marketing on Asia, but also for his appeal to sports fans worldwide, as would the selection of Spanish tennis player Fernando Verdasco.
Some male celebrities have gone for influencing male fashion in a more direct way, by launching their own diffusion fashion lines. This includes, prior to his death, collaboration between Michael Jackson and Christian Audigier, Liam Gallagher's limited edition 'Pretty Green' fashion line, and even a collection by the king of celebrity spin himself, Perez Hilton.
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