Thursday, March 8, 2012


Canadian design team Wade Papin and Danielle Wilmore of jewelry brand Pyrrha Design did it.  Fashion Institue of Technology (F.I.T.) graduate Yayoi Inada (Japan) did it as well as fashion publicist-turned-jewelry designer Jules Kim (USA).

What did they do?  Each of these jewelry designers has had respective pendant necklaces and rings worn by Julia Roberts, Jennifer Connelly and Rooney Mara in feature films.

Taking into consideration the frenzy of the recent awards show season along with the popularity of my Hollywood by Design page, this edition of Splendor Sidebar touches on some insider secrets on how jewelry designers land coveted product placements in movies, television shows, magazines and on the red carpet.

For many jewelry makers—both established and new—having a well-known celebrity wear their designer jewelry is a dream come true!  According to internet marketer and entrepreneur Cheryl Coccaro there is no magic formula for accomplishing celebrity product placement. 
Eva Green wearing Sophie Harley's (England) Algerian Love Knot
Pendant Necklace in Casino Royale
However following some strategic steps that include understanding the personal style of a particular celebrity; designing a website stocked with products; and creating a well-constructed press release are essential to achieving placement for designer jewelry.

The Senior Account Executive of marketing and public relations firm Luxury Brand Group, Jennifer Cullen, echoes Coccaro saying that landing designer jewelry product placement takes careful research, planning and a hefty dose of luck!

“I like referring to celebrity handlers as gatekeepers,” says Cullen.  “It is important for a designer or designer jewelry brand to connect with a stylist or publicist.  Developing these key relationships is not easy because so many designer jewelry brands compete for a celeb’s attention.”

Gaining access into a celebrity’s inner circle is a time-consuming process.  Those who can spare the expense often enlist the know-how and expertise of a public relations firm. But there are some jewelry designers, however, who happen to have access by way of great connections.  Case in point: Jennifer Meyer

According to Meyer her friendship with stylists and costume designers Nina and Clare Hallworth led to her big break.  The Hallworth sisters were serving as Jennifer Aniston’s costume designers for the feature film The Break-up when Meyer casually asked the sisters for their opinion on some jewelry samples she had.  Not long after her now famous gold leaf necklace was included in the style roster of Aniston’s on-screen character Brooke Meyers.
Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Masha Archer's (Ukraine)
Gemstone Necklace in Sex and the City: The Movie
“Due to the high level of competition, many designers and designer jewelry brands hire product placement and PR firms,” says Cullen.  “A huge advantage of hiring a PR firm is they have already formed relationships with celebrities and their handlers.”

Yet and still even with a public relations firm at the helm there is a downside:  there are never any guarantees a designer will see his or her bangle bracelets, gold necklace, or diamond hoop earrings on the wrist, neck or ears of the famous; and if placement is accomplished this does not guarantee great sales. 

“The reality is celebrity product placements may initially bring sales success and more exposure or awareness of a particular brand but these placements will not sustain a brand,” says Cullen. 

“Whenever placement is achieved a designer must “PR the PR” which means he or she has to make sure their celeb placements are posted on their website, blog, Facebook, or Twitter.  
Charlize Theron wearing Ilias Lalaounis' (Greece) gold bracelets in Hancock
Taking these steps is just as significant as landing the placement.  Ultimately, achieving placements are just one touch-point to the brand’s overall PR and marketing program.”

Despite the setbacks there is a bit of a silver lining.  “Celebrity product placement is a process where many factors must come together.  Unfortunately, it is a process that comes with many drawbacks,” says Cullen.  “However, when a piece of jewelry is worn by a star in a film, on television, on the red carpet or during a photo shoot it feels very rewarding to a designer.”

“It often doesn’t pan out so we try not to get too excited about this sort of thing,” says Pyrrha Design’s Danielle Wilmore.  “Julia Roberts’ stylist had picked up some of our necklaces for her to wear in Larry Crowne.  Next thing we know--lo and behold--we saw a photo of her wearing our Aurora and Cupid Intaglio Necklace on the set!”

Fine jeweler Kimberly McDonald was also overjoyed upon learning Jennifer Aniston wore one of her pendants and a matching ring on Cougar Town’s 2010 season premiere.  “We didn’t even know she was going to wear it,” recalls McDonald.  “Jen has owned this pendant and the ring that goes with it for 2-3 years. It was a big, fun surprise!”

And there you have it for this edition of Splendor Sidebar. 
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