At the Golden Globes earlier this month, a svelte young star turned heads walking the carpet wearing a sleek, black-spangled Louis Vuitton harness with accompanying Cartier jewels.
It wasn’t the first time that Timothée Chalamet had stolen the spotlight from his fashionable female colleagues.
For A-list ladies and their teams, the power of a perfect red-carpet moment, replete with a gorgeous gown and sparkling jewels, is readily apparent. But now that more male stars are embracing fashion, they’re also reaping the benefits of peacocking, such as positive press and potentially higher salaries, as public adoration leads to highly-sought Hollywood and advertising gigs. And as the men’s red carpet heats up, the business of dressing guys for awards shows and movie premieres is starting to sizzle, too. For all involved — stars, stylists, designers and brands alike — a prominent men’s carpet mainly means one thing: opportunity.
Now, the race to dress the most dashing male stars of stage and screen is on, as red-carpet risk takers such as Chalamet and Donald Glover move the needle on what’s considered acceptable for men’s evening wear.
As a result, brands are offering male stars — and their stylists — bigger financial incentives to show off their wares at events than ever before.
“Women are getting $60,000, $80,000 at the Oscars to wear a gown,” says stylist Van Van Alonso, who styles Mahershala Ali, as well as Big Sean and Miguel. “Now, men are [getting] little past halfway that.”
It might take only a matter of months for rising stars to become marketable fashion plates.
Henry Golding, the chiseled leading man from “Crazy Rich Asians,” is an adventurous dresser. But before the blockbuster comedy — his very first film — came out this summer it was almost impossible to get brands to lend Golding clothing, stylist David Thomas remembers.
“When we started working together [last spring], nobody had heard of him,” Thomas — whose other clients include John Legend, Lionel Richie and country music up-and-comer Kane Brown — tells The Post. Then, for CinemaCon in Las Vegas in April, Thomas put Golding in a slim fitting cornflower-blue ensemble by Strong Suit, with a complementary floral button-down.
The daring look earned the actor his debut best-dressed nod in GQ’s top looks of the week.
Golding’s buzz only built up from there. Now, Thomas says he fields five to 10 requests a week from brands wanting to dress the newly minted matinee idol. “It was a huge turnaround,” says Thomas of the months leading up to the “Crazy Rich Asians” premiere in August. “It’s really exciting to be on a best-dressed list . . . for someone who was not known, and just starting out, that was a big boost for us.”
For men, coming correct to red-carpet events has become “part of the day-to-day work of being a movie star” according to celebrity stylist Michael Fisher, who works with Adam Driver, Sam Rockwell and Ethan Hawke. “And it does make a difference. It’s not just an outfit anymore; it’s furthering the actor’s career and their brand.”
Although looking dapper can now enhance male stars’ bankability with audiences and studios, and lead to lucrative secondary deals such as clothing, accessory or fragrance endorsement deals, that wasn’t always the case.
“ ‘Fashion’ used to be kind of a dirty word for guys,” says Thomas, who has been styling Hollywood celebrities for the past 15 years. “When [actors] used to do any form of advertising, they used to do it in Japan or somewhere where they hoped no one would see it.
But now, it’s cool to have a brand deal, it’s cool to be the face of a campaign.”
This means that — as with the women’s carpet — the lines between style and advertising are getting blurrier.
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