And the cult of celebrity goes beyond Balenciaga’s runway too. They’ve had the likes of Justin Bieber, Cardi B, and Kim Kardashian star in their campaigns, and have even taken the latter to the Met Gala. Balenciaga’s approach to harnessing star power is different from the more traditional methods of other houses that tap famous faces to become ambassadors. Instead, the Demna effect is more meta; a comment on the cult of celebrity itself. The celebrity doesn’t make Balenciaga, but rather the opposite—the brand molds celebrities into their universe. Bieber might be dressed in Balenciaga’s artful yet non-descript baggy, everyday clothes, while Kardashian can arrive at the Met Gala in a custom head-to-toe black catsuit that covers her instantly recognizable body, metamorphosing one of the most recognizable faces in the world into a Balenciaga-clad tabula rasa.
As for today? Balenciaga dressing all these celebrities up for their runway show is another moment for the brand to prove that they are truly the ones calling the shots. We’re seeing Demna flex his muscles both in terms of design and in terms of sheer celebrity clout—Balenciaga really is that sought-after. Who else can have the brilliantly bizarre combination of reality TV’s most haute villain Quinn, an Oscar-winning actor like Kidman, and modeling royalty like Campbell in their show, while maintaining a sense of breezy effortlessness? It seems that being inducted into the Balenciaga club is the ultimate marker of cool in our current era of fashion, whether you’re a celeb or not–and that’s priceless.
When Emma Corrin was cast as Princess Diana in The Crown in April 2019, the first question that might have sprung to mind was where this Cambridge graduate with just a few IMDb credits to their name had come from. The second question, though, was whether this would be a genuine “star is born” moment. Could Corrin bring this iconic public figure vividly back to life while avoiding being pigeonholed? Nobody needed to worry about the latter. As quickly as the rave reviews Corrin received for their performance in The Crown arrived—plus the Golden Globe Award and an Emmy nomination that followed—so did an array of equally intriguing new projects, including an adaptation of the novel My Policeman opposite Harry Styles, a fresh spin on Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and the lead in Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij’s highly-anticipated return to TV after the untimely cancellation of The OA, titled Retreat.
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