Farhi speaks out on cash-for-FROW status

Nicole Farhi has gone public to denounce some designers’ practice of paying celebrities to sit in the front rows at fashion shows, a tactic Farhi calls ‘abominable’.

‘It is so unprofessional. I have never paid a celebrity and I will never do it. It’s stupid,’ she told the Telegraph’s Stella magazine for an interview that will publish this weekend.

‘What do they show you in the papers after a fashion show? Not the clothes, but the celebrities who are being paid to sit at the show.’

Appearing at a major brand’s fashion show is often an obligation of campaign stars’ contracts, but even unaffiliated stars can request fees as high as $125,000. No designers will go on the record about paying appearance fees, but public relations executives said that such ‘talent wrangling’ has become the norm.

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‘They will all hate me for [talking about] it,’ Farhi said. ‘I don't give a ---- because I think it is abominable.’

With runway shows serving as ever more visible marketing vehicles, we can’t say we’re surprised to receive official confirmation that (a) pay-for-attendance happens, and (b), see that no one who engages in the practice would comment.

It turns out designers aren’t alone in forking out cash for front-row seats—have you heard the one about the front rowers who paid for the honour of their view? Let the speculation commence...

Keep up to date with all the front row celebs during show season in our catwalk channel

See everyone from Kate Bosworth to Clemence Poesy front row at Burberry Prorsum

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