FASHION STAR: Marketing 101, From the Set! EXCLUSIVE!

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FASHION STAR: Marketing 101, From the Set! EXCLUSIVE!

During the filming of “Fashion Star” that took place at Culver Studios in Culver City, CA, HOLLYWOOD JUNKET attended a number of show tapings. We experienced a fun, well-organized show and witnessed a host with aching feet, a singer that was visibly uncomfortable in her clothing and chair (we now know why), an egotistical big-shot, and an opinionated daughter of a famous singer.

“Fashion Star” is a new fashion, reality competition experiment set to air on NBC in March. The show was actually filmed over the summer 2011 due to its unique take. Making the winning designs available to viewers at home the same night as the show’s air-date. That means, “Fashion Star” wrapped its filming well in advance, and the three main fashion buyers – Macy’s, H & M, and Saks Fifth Avenue, placed their orders as well.

“Fashion Star” is a fresh slant on “Project Runway” and attempts to take advantage of the new digital, interactive age by trying something new when TV watchers will be able to actually buy the fashions that they see on the show. A practice I predict we will be seeing a lot more of as television tries to harness the powers of the internet to make it work for it and not against it.


Mentors Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, and Nicole Richie are the mentors of the “Fashion Star” contestant designers. Each week, the designers must come-up with a wardrobe piece that is showcased on a runway stage in front of the three buyers. Some examples that we saw were: jackets (a lot of jackets), dresses (lots of dresses!) swimsuits, jumpsuits. The buyers from the stores remain the same for each episode and they are able to provided critical critiques and advice to the competitors. Representing were Terron from Saks Fifth Avenue, Caprice from Macy’s and Nicki from H & M. The designer takes the advice and uses it for the next week’s challenge where they are also working with the mentors.

The goal of the show is to create a brand that is marketable and profitable.

Audiences will see some bidding wars going on as well. Many happened between H & M, and Macy’s. They can choose to put-in bids of $20,000 and more. Fashions can not be shown in more than one store. So, the bidding continues until one store has out-bid the other. There were a couple of incidents where the stores were in a dead-lock and the designer had to select which store they wanted their fashions in.


A few things that the show did that I didn’t necessarily agree with were: because of the timing of the show, due to come-out in the spring, this went into a lot of consideration for what the buyers chose to buy. No surprise some of the Fall fashions suffered and were not picked.

There were a lot of fashions and designers to be walked down the runway. This might be one of the many reasons why they were showcased in groups of three and four at the same time. Sometimes this got confusing. After the fashion show, the designers were made to stand side-by-side to receive criticism from the mentors and buyers. But, that’s not what I had a problem with. The problem is having one or sometimes two designers have their clothing in bidding wars while one designers stood with zero bids. Not a very nice way to treat your contestants! I would have much rather they had each designer stand in front of the buyers one designer at a time.


Former Sports Illustrated swim suit Australian 6-foot tall super model and envy of every man and woman in the mid-late 1980s Elle Macpherson was a delight! In-person, she is stunning and does not look a day over thirty-six. There were a few days when the wardrobe department had her in painfully uncomfortable Louboutins and she was suffering. Lucky for her, there was no a lot of verbiage she had to do on-stage. It looks like most of her work will be backstage with the designers.

Macpherson made a comment in regards to her son and that she’d like to have another child. “But first I have to work on getting a husband”.


On one of our set visits, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos showcased their new fashion lines. Varvatos was a very stylized male wardrobe that he said was inspired by groups like “The Beatles” and “The Doors” during their tours of Europe.

We weren’t sure then but we all know now why mentor Jessica Simpson looked so bloated and uncomfortable in her chair during filming, she was pregnant! She was accompanied by her boyfriend Eric Johnson, almost every episode and we had fun seeing him too as he watched from the audience.

Colorful contestant, Oscar Fierro below:


Viewers will see one particular contestant named Oscar who will be very unforgettable. His fashion styling of “hootchies” during one catwalk is very entertaining!

One designer said that the disagreements with her photographer during her branding shoot is why she didn’t get the marketing outcome that she wanted. Seems like that could be a whole other show!

“Fashion Star” premiers on NBC March 13 at 8/9 c.


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