Cash for star bums on stylish seats

ANNIE STEVENS
Last updated 11:55 01/10/2012
seats
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BUMS ON SEATS: Elizabeth Banks and Christina Hendricks at Paris Fashion Week. Were they paid to be there?

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Fashion weeks are exhilerating, terrifying, exhausting and strange.

It is here that you will see grown men in glittery platforms, impossibly beautiful people taking impossibly beautiful photos of one another and, most thrillingly, the odd glimpse of a bonafide celebrity. That flash of a sinewy arm and stomp of a heel that is not even in the shops yet is enough to make you temporarily forget that you are hungry, alternatively freezing and boiling in your thoroughly inappropriate for the seasons outfit and that your feet hurt.

And according to the Hollywood Reporter, many of those celebrities perching prettily on the front row at the big international fashion shows are being paid a rather fine penny to do so.

The magazine reports that A listers such as Rhianna score nearly $100k per bottom perch with others such as Blake Lively and Kim Kardashian earning approximately $50k. The deals are generally exclusive, ie you can only go to one show. Of course some stars pledge allegiance to a label, and to fashion, such as Nicole Kidman with Chanel (apparently, says the article, Kidman also pays for her own clothes. Sacre bleu!) without getting paid for it. Others, according to a fashion week veteran get flown in and put up in style.

'Faces' of the label such as Natalie Portman and Marion Cotillard with Dior are generally expected to pay their dues and attend sans charge, as are muses and friends of the label. And indeed paying your friends to come to your party seems awfully sad, if very profitable. Starlets on the rise are certain to squabble for a prominent perch.

When you think about what a star showing can do for your brand it does make sense, and when you consider that there is probably more stamina than glamour involved in following the fashion week caravan, taking payment seems rather logical. Still, doesn't it make you second guess the thrill of spying a celebrity? And doesn't their perceived endorsement of a brand that you dream of make it seem a little less, well, dreamy?

But then, fashion is big business, and it's also an awful lot of smoke, mirrors and secret cash money handshakes.

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