WHICH Celebrity Makes Fashion Brands The MOST Cash?

27 October 2010

Here at Grazia Daily, we’ve discussed the magic formula; clothes + celebrity = mega sales in the past, but today we’ve made a discovery that sheds a little more light on the subject. News today shows there’s someone who eclipses Kate Moss and David Beckham in her effect.

Have you guessed who it is yet? Yep, it’s Lady #1, Michelle Obama. Not only does the be-bicepped one have numerous blogs devoted to what she wears, but now a respected economist, David Yermack has counted up Michelle’s outfits between November 2008 and December 2009 and totted up the impact on the retail economy. Michelle put in 189 public appearances in items by or sold at 29 publicly traded companies, including J.Crew, Gap, and Richemont, (the company which owns Alaia). The total value generated by MObama's appearances for those companies was $2.7 billion, while Yermack estimates the total value of a single public appearance at $14 million. And that doesn’t even take into account those clothes from brands that are not traded on the stock market.

There is no brand in the world which would not sell its granny to know what makes one celeb the perfect ambassador, while another an inconsequential piece of window dressing. Mr Yelland, who is not involved in the fashion world on any other level, (it was his wife who came up with the idea for the research project) has two suggestions for the power of Madam Obama.

1 – Michelle, although gorgeous, doesn’t look like a typical fashion plate, waify clothes horse, therefore people identify with her and believe 'if it works on her . . .’

2 – She is not selling her own label OR being paid by any of her brands (not even her favourite J Crew) – which makes her, in the economist’s words ‘pure’. People trust her taste, because they know it is just that - her taste.  

Are you reading this, companies affiliated with Paris Hilton?

-Naomi Attwood


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