I’ve just returned from Paris Fashion Week spring/summer 2023—my first full season for ready-to-wear—and what a change I saw. There was a profusion of celebrities who came out in full force for all the key shows; it were as though the floodgates of K-Town, Hollywood and the Grammys had been thrown wide open for the 12-day event. At Dior, Korean superstars Cha Eun Woo and Jisoo caused a near stampede in the Tuileries Garden. At Saint Laurent, Rosé, Zoë Kravitz and Hailey Bieber shared flashlights with supermodels Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Shalom Harlow and Kate Moss. Kylie Jenner lent her sizeable star power to the frow at Acne and Balenciaga. Cher walked the finale at Balmain with Creative Director Olivier Rousteing by her side. Then, there were the Hadid sisters who had all phones turned on them whenever they graced a catwalk. This doesn’t even take into account all the Instagram influencers and TikTok stars who were seated front-row, dressed by the brands in their latest collections. Which made me think: Does fashion make a star or do stars make fashion today? From what I saw, you could say the latter.
In the past, it was always the marque designers who called the shots. They were the ones who decided who would be the muses, the inspiration, the friends of the House that they presided over. Today, all of that is mostly handled by their extensive marketing and PR teams who are in charge of generating the buzz and, of course, sales for that brand in their region. I remember asking a designer (who shall remain unnamed) why they loved a certain Korean star they had brought to their show—only to be met with a blank stare, followed by a glance at the head of global PR, who in turn shrugged his shoulders! The need to generate excitement across all platforms is what has made celebrity culture so powerful today. Bar a few like Dries Van Noten, Comme Des Garçons, Noir by Kei Ninomiya and Junya Watanabe (Japanese fashion brands tend to shun celebrities), famous faces today are a crucial part of a brand’s success. But what about the fashion?
Fans were out to capture their favourite stars at their (no doubt paid) engagements but were they really interested in the fashion their idols were wearing? Do celebrity endorsements really educate the wider audience about what the brand represents and what it is all about? As an editor who helms print, social and digital platforms, I have to be so aware of our audience and what they want. We serve a general public but we are also here to inform and to further pique their interest in fashion. The DNA of a House, its roots and the thought processes that go into each collection are so important, especially in this day of information where fashion is seen reaching into every facet of our lives. On page 52, Jeffrey Yan’s “Watch this Space” charts the shows that have gone viral on streaming services like NetFlix, Amazon Prime and HBO; and shows how the clothes have played a large role in their successes. One thing’s for sure: The celeb making process needs the right threads to turn Joe Bloggs into a star. And that’s why we are here to be your sartorial guide every step of the way.
—Kenneth Goh, Editor-in-Chief
Photographed by Andrew Arthur
Creative direction by Windy Aulia
Styled by Dylan Wayne
Models: Mads Mullins/IMG New York; Seven Strong/Next Models; Megan Rodrigues/State Management
Makeup: Christyna Kay
Makeup assistant: Michelle Ramirez
Hair: Mark Esparza
Hair assistant: Olivia Mairead
Production: Dirty Pretty Productions
Producer: Anna Panova
Casting: Tasha Tongpreecha
Set design: Lauren Bahr
Set designer’s assistant: Tom Henry
Director of photography: Alexey Glebko
Photographer’s assistant: Mitchell Mylius
Stylist’s assistant: Lily Carter
Additional assistants: Yulia Bogdanova; Saul Luzeus