The Joys of Booking Celebrity Talent for Magazine Editorials
This month we published our July issue of Fashion 5.0 Magazine featuring Jaimie Hilfiger, model and socialite that is also the niece of the fashion magnate Tommy Hilfiger. In this blog, I will demonstrate what we do at Fashion 5.0 to determine the covers, as well as what I learned on this particular shoot.
Jaimie Hilfiger, although she may not be well-know yet, could become a household name one day. The big reasons she was great for our cover are the following: her uncle is a fashion icon, she shares his last name, she is an actual model and she looks like a starlet. So how did we get her?
To get large talent, we started where we could and worked our way up. Tenley Molzahn, our company’s current editor-in-chief, was a big reality television star from The Bachelor (season 14) and The Bachelor Pad(season 1) before she joined us. She was interested in our cover model proposition and ended up on our July 2011 “Summer Nights” issue. She had a great attitude on the shoot and told me about her passion for writing and sharing her thoughts with the public. Within a couple months, she agreed to become our editor-in-chief.
A few months after Tenley joined us, we got our first really big cover. Ali Fedotowsky, known for her roles on The Bachelor (season 14) and The Bachelorette (season 6), agreed to shoot the December 2011 cover. Ali was actually noted as People Magazine’s top 25 most intriguing people to watch for 2010, so this was a big jump for us. To top this off, she was featured on the cover of People the same week our December issue came out, due to her late November breakup with her fiancé Roberto Martinez.
Tenley was actually on the same season of The Bachelor with Ali, so she knew Ali and was excited that we attained such a big star. I asked her what she preferred for the covers after securing Ali, and she said something like, “I like what we have going on. It is really nice having both fashion models and celebrities for the editorials. While the magazine is the size it is, it is good to utilize both models and celebrity talent for the covers. It gives me a good feeling as a woman and provides a great balance for our readers.”
After Ali’s cover came out, Fashion 5.0 got a lot of momentum. We utilized agency models in the spring and then went big again for our May/June 2011 “Summer Guide” issue. Using Ali as a launching pad, we quickly secured Alexis Bellino from The Real Housewives of Orange County (seasons 5, 6 and 7). Alexis is incredibly well-known and part of a reality TV series franchise that is growing at an incredible rate. While reality stalwarts The Jersey Shore, The Apprentice, Survivor and American Idol wereall down in ratings, the Real Housewives franchises were just getting bigger and bigger.
Alexis was amazing to work with! After spending the day with her (disclaimer: I did not see the show and had no idea what to expect), I thought she was a dream wife and mother. I did watch a few minutes of the show after the issue released and am not sure why she was getting negative attention from her fellow cast members. I know they want drama for the show and perhaps she is an easy target. Either way she was absolutely caring with her three children, very understanding with her husband and a total doll to work with. The first thing she said when I got there was “Hi, nice to meet you Morgan. Would you like me to brew some coffee for you guys?” Needless to say we went to Starbucks and pushed her through hair and makeup as quickly as possible. The hospitality and nature of her kindness absolutely made my day. The way she handled her children made her an instant hero in my book, as every good mother should be!
Getting Alexis was relatively easy. We used Ali’s issue as an example and asked her if she was interested. While Ali took an insane amount of time to book, Alexis was down right away and we booked her the instant her schedule permitted. She was perfect for the Summer Guide issue and really nailed the shoot. We were incredibly lucky and counted our blessings.
Before we even saw Alexis in print, I booked Jaimie Hilfiger for the July 2012 “Summer Nights” issue. I got her though her publicist, who had my name from Cision, an email database that publicists and PR companies utilize to find placements for their talent, businesses and products.
Hilfiger’s publicist found me there and sent me an email about a musician she wanted us to feature. The musician wasn’t anything we were looking for, however I was both nice and prude. I thanked her and was honest, then asked if she had any talent that was well-known. She gave me a couple of options, with Jaimie being one. I was like “Duh, get her,” and made the right moves to make the shoot happen.
So now we have had quite a few nice covers and have evolved even more as a company. Our team is learning, growing and getting more and more respect every day. Our fashion editor is now on Fox 5, the local news station, every Friday morning doing style segments as a community expert. Our photographers are evolving and the creative pool we have to choose from is growing fast. Our readership is getting larger and people keep telling us how each issue gets better and better. We are so lucky and I feel so fortunate to be part of such a rad company!
So what did I learn from Jaimie’s shoot? When you have an all-star team and a model who is actually a starlet, just let them do their thing. Watch the time to make sure you get what you need, but let them take care of the details.
Speaking of timelines, you never know when you are going to need to stop shooting when you have celebrity talent! Models are booked for a certain time, but if you are a superstar there are things that will come up so you have to be prepared. We actually needed about five more minutes to complete one more look during her shoot, however her boyfriend showed up and said “We have to go.” So she changed and booked as fast as possible, without the thought of asking him if she could stay for another few minutes.
We still had a slam-dunk cover and high-fashion, edgy fashion editorial that has received incredible response. We live, we learn and we grow. I only hope that my successes can be an inspiration and tool to help others grow.