Last week Kate Middleton hit the headlines again. Not with Royal visit news and not with pregnancy rumours but for a haircut. Whilst the Duchess’s re-style was nothing particularly drastic (the addition of a heavy side-swept fringe), her ‘new-do’ covered inches of magazine, newspaper and website space. As a result, her new choice of bangs is the perfect opportunity for beauty PRs to promote their own products and services for the thousands of copy-Kates wanting an easy way to achieve her new look.
It is estimated that Kate Middleton is worth £16bn to the UK fashion industry. Not only does she have a direct impact on the fashion companies whose clothes she wears, (Whistles, Reiss, Alice Temperley and so on…) the ‘Kate Effect’ also impacts those companies who sell items of clothing similar to what she wears.
This is obviously facilitated by online social media and technological developments. Twitter ensures that we know what Kate is wearing as soon as she is wearing it. It is therefore important that Digital PRs for fashion and beauty brands are vigilant of what Kate wears and when. Furthermore, since the announcement of her engagement to Prince William back in November 2010, What Kate Wore has been the source of all of Kate’s public wardrobe choices, with links to buy each of the items. Most of these items sell out in hours, allowing for copy-Kate versions from more affordable retailers to thrive.
Moreover, it is not only the fashion world feeling Kate’s influence, but that of the beauty world as well. Kate’s fuller eyebrows have sparked a trend for £5,000 eyebrow implants and eyebrow thickening gel. One Harley Street clinic spoke out about the rise in patients wanting to undergo implant surgery. Eyebrow cosmetic products are up 600% as women rush to recreate the Duchess’s full bushy brow. It is important that for the world of Beauty PR to react to this consumer trend and anticipate the Kate-trends to maximise exposure for their clients.
PHA responded to the Duchess’s ‘new do’ with a press release promoting a new volumising product, which saw excellent cut through. With the majority of the media focused on Kate, it’s important to react and pre-empt this to ensure that your client’s products/services are associated and promoted in association with the nation’s most treasured icon.