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The Influencers

From Silver Screen to Small Screen: Making an Impact in an Unpredictable Awards Season

Lauren Stillman, senior vice president at ITB Worldwide reflects on the red carpet/awards season to offer her thoughts on how fashion, beauty and luxury brands have engaged with talent in what has been an unpredictable awards season

From Silver Screen to Small Screen: Making an Impact in an Unpredictable Awards Season

Awards season has long been the highlight of every fashionista’s calendar; when the crème de la crème of the film and TV industry come together on the red carpet to bring to life the best looks that high fashion has to offer. It’s prime time for both brands and talent to shine - but what happens when the opportunity for fashion, beauty and luxury brands to create iconic, stand-out red carpet moments is, literally, pulled out from under their Louboutins?

After numerous postponements and shifting production structures, the 2021 Award season kicked off at the end of February with appearances planned both in-person and virtually. For an industry that thrives on innovation and creativity, of course, it would always find ways to adapt; in this case, embracing a new phygital reality to find ways to dazzle crowds on the small screen. 

From the Golden Globes to the GRAMMY Awards, SAG Awards, BAFTA, and the Oscars, ITB has helped longtime clients Chopard, Zuhair Murad and Georges Chakra navigate the ever-changing landscape of VIP dressing to generate moments that have resulted in valuable coverage, both in traditional and social media. 

By leveraging strong relationships with talent and their teams, we were able to capitalise on pop culture’s biggest moments to generate millions of earned and social impressions by innovating our approach to engaging high-profile and celebrity talent for dressing opportunities in what has been an awards season like no other. Activating further through digital and social pathways, encouraging talent and their teams to embrace the mindset of creative content-makers at home, this enabled us to drive great levels of engagement. 

For Chopard, this included Catherine Zeta-Jones, Anthony Anderrson and Kyra Sedgwck at the Golden Globes, nominees Andra Day and H.E.R. at the Critics Choice Awards, triple award winner Megan Thee Stallion and Best New Artist Nominee Ingrid Andress at the GRAMMY Awards, and iconic actress Catherine O’Hara at the SAG Awards. 

Chopard Jewelry also shone at the Oscars, worn by Best Supporting Actress Yuh-Jung Youn, Oscar Winner for Best Original Song H.E.R for the red carpet and performance, and Presenter actress Angela Bassett, as well as Dua Lipa, performing at the 29th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party.  

For Georges Chakra Couture, ITB secured Julia Michaels and Debi Nova at the GRAMMY Awards,Flight Attendant star Merle Dandridge at the SAG Awards and TV personality Erin Lim at the Oscars. 

For Zuhair Murad, ITB secured TikTok sensation Charli D’Amelio as she accepted her award for Best Social Star at the Kid’s Choice Awards as well as nominee Jurnee Smollett at the SAG Awards and Presenter Anna Kendrick at BAFTA. Everyone’s favourite Instagram personality Chrissy Teigen even got into the awards season spirit wearing a Zuhair Murad gown at home playing dress up for “the Nothing Awards”, resulting in more than 8M impressions from social alone. At the Oscars, actress Nicolette Robinson with her husband Leslie Odom Jr. also wore Zuhair Murad.


A new expression of identity through fashion 

Despite everything going on in the world around us, the 2021 awards season has been one of celebration for the nominees and winners; not just in celebrating their success but finding new ways of expressing their identity through fashion. The talent we expect to see gliding down the red carpet have still made an effort to look good and feel good, even at home - showing that there’s still a place for luxury brands, even behind the VIP ropes of the red carpet. 

Each year, during awards season, the media is ablaze with the same photos; the overtly posed - dare I say it - generic, hand-on-hip step & repeat photos, complete with that dazzling smile. However, this year has shown us that the non-posed step & repeat photos continue to provide the most compelling imagery that have the most resonance in earned media and socially.

Stars might have to stay at home but they are still making the most of the opportunity to dress up and express more of themselves; not just in a costume for the red carpet. Nominee Jurnee Smollett, who was sporting the pink colour trend at SAG Awards (a trend also adopted by Kaley Cuoco, Helen Mirren and Sarah Levy) and BAFTA presenter Anna Kendrick - both wearing Zuhair Murad - have been among those praised for the best at-home red carpet looks. 


Making a splash in social media

At the same time, talent who are pulling out all the stops to produce high-quality images at home are winning the fashion conversation right now. Enjoying her fourth SAG Award nomination, Kerry Washington made quite the splash as she plunged in her swimming pool on Instagram, ahead of the SAG Awards in a custom blue Etro gown paired with a matching Esther Williams-style swim cap. The stunning images of Jurnee Smollett wearing Zuhair Murad for the SAG Awards also made a massive impact, with the pictures ending up as the home slide on social for Who What Wear and Vogue, as part of their awards coverage. 

Hollywood’s red carpets have traditionally been a nod to fantasy and luxury, an unattainable aspiration. But the 2021 awards season shows us that there’s still an attitude and feeling or wanting to show off and celebrate a sense of joy and confidence amongst the stars and talent. Even on the small screen, there’s still a place for couture, luxury fashion and jewellery brands.

And now, with social media bringing fans closer to the celebrities they follow and giving them a glimpse into their lives and homes, brands have greater opportunities to create strategic partnerships designed for both the physical and social worlds, showing a softer, more relatable side to fashion, which is a welcome change of tone in the current climate. 


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