MAY TOPIC: Fashion & Reality TV: Business Move or Entertainment
Fashion Reality TV continues to captivate and inspire ambitious hopefuls. Whether you aim to work in PR, as a model, designer, makeup artist or photographer, there is a Reality TV show waiting for your application.
Want the exposure, these shows offer plenty of it and the possibilities are endless. For many, reality TV is the chance of a lifetime to earn a place in the super competitive industry of Fashion, or so it seems.
Reality TV shows have propelled many to fame (Eva Marcille, Christian Siriano, Jay Manuel…), but does the new found fame always equate career success? Is it a good business move to consider? Some industry insiders disagree:
“A TV show about fashion? That’s a momentary thing.” – Calvin Klein
“If you want a career as a fashion designer, you’d best distance yourself from reality TV fashion.”
Meanwhile, shows like ANTM and Project Runway get renewed and franchised, and new ones are set to air – The Face, with Super Model Naomi Campbell.
But is it really business oriented or purely entertainment?
“It’s a game show; it’s nothing more to me. It’s produced.” – Past Project Runway contestant Rami Kashou.
But what do YOU think?
Should Fashion hopefuls give reality TV a shot or should they distance themselves from it completely? Is the reality TV movement counterproductive to fashion? And what are some of your favorite Fashion Reality TV Shows?
Nicole Karlis, Entertainment Journalist - http://www.hollywoodlife.com
Nicole currently works in the crazy world of celebrity news where she has happily become an expert on all-things Bieber, Bachelor and Breaking Dawn.
Fashion reality TV has always been a favorite of mine! With movies like the Devil Wears Prada – it’s cool to see an inside look into the “reality” of the fashion industry.It all makes for good TV from the high-fashion clothes to the celebrities and the intense work environment.
But like any other reality TV show, editing manipulates and totally sensationalizes the industry. In order to become a model, does one really have to embark on crazy adventures like what Tyra makes her America’s Next Top Model contestants do? Absolutely not!
But what I think reality TV in the fashion industry does right, is boost consumer enthusiasm. Plus, I bet President Obama is loving NBC’s new show Fashion Star! This show has brilliantly made people excited about shopping again.
I also think it’s great for the fashion industry too because it exposes designers to a different demographic. In the fashion industry, there are certain designers you know and love and are rooting for, but for those who aren’t working in fashion, they might not be as familiar with these designers unless they are fashion enthusiasts.
It’s entertainment, which requires minimal costs, and from a celebrity news reporter perspective, it gives anyone the chance to become famous! Even starving designers!
Overall reality TV is entertainment.
Marie Denee, Fashion Blogger - http://thecurvyfashionista.mariedenee.com/
I think that Fashion Reality TV, if done smartly, can be both a strategic business move and entertaining.
You have to love reality TV, it gives us a perceived an inside perspective of what goes on in fashion. Yes, television is often edited, sensationalized, and scripted to keep us hanging on to the edge of our chairs, but there are a few good shows out there that celebrate the art and talent in fashion.
The issue I take with the influx of fashion shows is the commercialism route it takes, stripping away talent for dollars.
However, regardless of your motivations, reality TV does give a unique platform and how one chooses to utilize this to his/her advantage, can be either a recipe for success of ridicule. You just have to play your cards right and stay true to your craft!
I really loved the earlier episodes of Project Runway, it was unique, intriguing, and exciting. I loved seeing how Christian Siriano built his brand upon his win, and has not looked back. Rachel Zoe is another one whom I admire for her brand and label she has built from the successes of her styling and the platform she has with her show. America’s Next Top Model is another one that I always find myself drawn to, but I loved the earlier seasons most!
With all this said, if I had the chance to do a reality show, I would have to give it serious thought. Depending upon the creative process and the creative control shared… who knows!
Sarah Monaco – Fashion Blogger, http://www.ibleedfashion.com/
Reality TV, whether it’s exclusively applied to fashion or not is an oxymoron: what is portrayed on all of these shows is scripted, and reality in almost every sense is lacking. My biggest issue with fashion reality TV shows is how inorganic these shows make the process for the contestants.
Throughout the filming of the show, models and designers are given a brief, intense period of time to prove themselves with lots of resources and mentorship. However, unless you are the winner or a finalist on one of these shows, you will often be forgotten in a heartbeat and thrown back to the same “square one”: little money and no mentorship.
Even those contestants who try to re-brand themselves after an experience on a fashion reality TV show often have trouble shaking the title of “that contestant on that show”, which may be worse than being an unknown designer.
Television shows often start with a unique idea that perhaps has the best intentions, but often these intentions are thrown by the wayside as networks push the need for ratings and number of viewers. How many people are willing to watch contestants happily sew gorgeous dresses, for example, versus see a cheating scandal between contestants occur or have a random celebrity appearance on the show
High fashion is all about the allure of something unattainable by most people – this logic explains why designers like Calvin Klein, amongst others, have distanced themselves from reality TV shows that focus on fashion.
Personally, I believe programs like the Telio’s “Canada’s Breakthrough Designers” competition and Lasalle College’s annual graduates fashion show, “Signature 2012”, is the best way to attract attention and support for upcoming designers.
Michael Eardley - Designer, Creative Director Live.Now. By Michael Eardley
Reality TV in some cases helps designers get serious international exposure that most could never achieve or afford without the show, which is good for fashion.
Designers on shows such as Fashion Star or Project Runway can receive extremely important exposure as well as direct sales and that’s good for the industry.
However there is a risk, mainly for designers receiving disastrous reviews on the shows, because these are seen by a larger audience, but in the same optic reviews can be extremely good.
I think that Designers and Brands that distance themselves from reality TV shows are missing out on a huge exposure potential. Picking and choosing the right TV show for your brand is the key.
Project Runway is by far my favorite reality show related to fashion; this show has really helped people understand what Designers do in the atelier – behind the scenes, which wasn’t always the case before. Plus, the show gives great exposure to the contestants and if used correctly, the momentum gained can help their own brands whether they win or not.
I would love to be part of a TV show if given the chance, either as a contestant or to simply have my brand exposed to the globally.
Aleksandra Lesniak – Editor-in-chief of http://girlsofto.com
It would be naïve to assume that what we see on reality TV is in fact reality.
In every industry, time is money, and a ton of work goes into television production, therefore, to wait for something entertaining to happen while filming a group of people 24/7 wouldn’t be as lucrative as producing a segment. In my opinion, reality shows have a few objectives: to entertain, expose, and earn.
To participants, shows can be great tools for getting started in the fashion industry, however, just like Calvin Klein said, they are a momentary thing. Those fifteen minutes of fame will not determine your career and success. To achieve your goals and establish a brand you will need a lot of hard work, time, connections, money, and dumb-ass-luck.
Although these shows seem to open up a world of possibilities, they also create false hopes of stardom and wealth. People lose sight of the business and focus on the glamour, which most fashion professionals will tell you is minimal – even Karl Lagerfeld works.
Reality TV shows won’t expose you to designers who create for the average woman (with the average budget) or models who are suited for local or commercial work, but to a caliber of people who cater to the upper class – which doesn’t make up the majority of any population. Once actual reality sets in with these fashion hopefuls their dreams come crashing down and they realize that life is nothing like what we see on TV.
And when the going gets tough the wannabe’s go bankrupt. Although I like watching some of these shows, I also have a grip on my reality and know that some airtime won’t make me the next Kelly Cutrone.
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