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Opinion

Everything You Need to Know About Red Carpet Jewelry Placements (Hint: Some Are Ads)

Celestial Drop earrings with diamonds from Nirav Modi

NEW YORK. Shortly after the 69th Emmy Awards took place, a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to an article from HollywoodReporter.com: “More Stars Are Getting Paid to Wear Jewelry on the Red Carpet.”

One of my snarkier friends had this to say about the news: “Duh.”

I don’t disagree. Seriously, who doesn’t know this by now? Many jewelry placements on stars are paid ads.

Way back in 2005, the Los Angeles Times ran “Red Carpet Revenue,” perhaps one of the earliest—and best covered, since some brands went on record—pieces addressing the topic. Those paid placements paved the way for today’s social media posts that have often gone unchecked and unmarked as ads and an effort to conceal the truth. Undisclosed paid jewelry placements that masquerade as “news” and “trends” drive me nuts. This is fake news; if you have enough money, you can buy coverage in the form of placements positioned to appear as authentic star style choices that the press writes articles about as if it was all genuine news. Gag.

This spring, the Federal Trade Commission did crack down on some offenders, calling out some high-profile influencers like Kim Kardashian for not clearly labeling paid social media posts as ads. However, aren’t stars who are paid to walk the red carpet in jewelry from big houses and do not reveal those relationships and arrangements offenders, too? Shouldn’t statements be issued to clearly say that someone is wearing a jewelry brand because the brand paid them to do so?

The biggest takeaway from star jewelry at awards’ shows should be the silhouettes and colors—are folks wearing collar necklaces, amethysts, stiletto drop earrings, pink gold, or stack bracelets? Those lengths, colors, and styles will influence real jewelry collectors to make looks their own through inspired purchases. Inspired silhouettes and colors—not design copies—are key; you have your own style, so let it speak for itself.

And while some of the specific jewels worn by stars are worthy of admiration, know the truth about them even if the brand doesn’t want you to: it’s likely a paid placement and a non-disclosure that puts smaller designers at a competitive disadvantage.

And out of curiosity, I asked some of the public relations’ firms handling promotion of jewelry brands worn to the Emmys to tell me if the stars wearing their pieces were paid to do so. Here’s what I found out.

Reese Witherspoon, nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayal of Madeline Martha Mackenzie in the hit Netflix series, Big Little Lies, wore David Webb jewelry. Among her selections: a pair of 18k white gold and platinum cabochon-cut sapphire earrings with brilliant- and baguette-cut diamonds and a crossover ring in 18k white gold and platinum with carved ruby and sapphire leaves and brilliant-cut diamonds.

Was she paid to wear these pieces? No, according to a PR firm for the brand.

Reese Witherspoon in David Webb jewels at the Emmys

Reese Witherspoon in David Webb jewels at the Emmys
Credit: @davidwebbjewels on Instagram

 

Nicole Kidman, winner for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Limited Series Or Movie for her portrayal of Celeste Wright in the Netflix series, Big Little Lies, wore $2 million of jewels from Harry Winston. Among her selections: a platinum link bracelet with 35.16 cts. t.w. diamonds and platinum drop earrings with 13.77 cts. t.w. diamonds.

Was she paid to wear these pieces? In-house PR officials could not comment.

Nicole Kidman in Harry Winston jewels at the Emmys

Nicole Kidman in Harry Winston jewels at the Emmys
Credit: INSTARImages

 

Robin Wright, nominee for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series for her portrayal of Claire Underwood in the Netflix series, House of Cards, wore jewelry from Nirav Modi. Among her selections: Celestial Lineal earrings and three Slim Embrace bangles with diamonds.

Was she paid to wear these pieces? No, according to a PR firm for the brand.

 

Celestial Drop earrings with diamonds from Nirav Modi

Celestial Drop earrings with diamonds from Nirav Modi
Credit: Nirav Modi

Slim Embrace bangle from Nirav Modi

Slim Embrace bangle from Nirav Modi
Credit: Nirav Modi

 

Jennifer Heebner LLC

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2 Comments


  1. Rachel Chalchinsky

    October 6, 2017 at 8:30 pm

    Hey Jen,
    I liked the article on jewelry placement and celebrity compensation. Disclosure is so important, whether it’s compensation or stone treatment.
    Best of regards,
    Rachel
    Color Source Gems

    • Jennifer Heebner

      October 6, 2017 at 8:39 pm

      Thank you for weighing in, Rachel! I wish more folks would be open about it, especially at a time when transparency is increasingly important.

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