Front-Row Celebs Paid by Designers

Rihanna, Beyonce could pocket $100K for showing up
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2012 6:40 PM CST
Updated Mar 10, 2012 7:15 AM CST
Demi Moore, left, and Lucy Liu sit front row at the Zac Posen 2008 spring/summer show during Fashion Week in New York, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2007.   (AP Photo/John Smock)
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(Newser) – Those celebrity faces oohing and ahhing in the front rows of fashion shows? Many of them are paid to be there in order to attract attention to designers vying for millions of dollars in sales, a British designer tells the Daily Mail. "It is so unprofessional. I have never paid a celebrity and I will never do it," says Nicole Farhi, the first notable industry figure to talk about the practice. "It’s stupid."

At events like the recent London Fashion Week, designers compete for more than $160 million in clothing orders during the six-day event—and front-row star power (like model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley at the Burberry show) gets all the cameras rolling. In the US, celebrities usually have their expenses paid by whichever fashion house extends the invitation. But the British fee for a celeb-butt-in-chair is up to $100,000 for a top name, like Rihanna or Beyonce. Says Farhi: "They will all hate me" for outing the practice. "I don’t give a s*** because I think it is abominable." (Read more fashion show stories.)

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