Kristin Cavallari embodies the California-cool lifestyle. And it’s that vibe that turned the former reality TV star’s fans into customers for her Chinese Laundry collection, now entering its fifth year.
Last month, FN went behind the scenes of Cavallari’s spring ad campaign shoot, where the formula for her appeal was at play. Set in a beautifully lit Hollywood Hills home, the vibe is a blend of trendy, sensible, familiar and approachable — much like her range of mules, booties, sandals, slip-ons and block heels.
“All my collections are similar in that I want them to be effortless; I want my shoes to make your outfit,” Cavallari said. “When I’m running around with my kids, I tend to go for the shoes that are more comfortable. That’s why I’ve been designing more flats.”
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The true-to-life design approach was the same for the marketing strategy.
“We’ve moved from shooting Kristin in-studio to more authentic and natural locations,” said Matt Joyce, president of the Chinese Laundry and Kristin Cavallari labels.
Stewart Goldman, COO of parent Cels Enterprises Inc., added, “It’s important to shoot her in natural settings, like a home in the Hollywood Hills. But for her, we look for special moments — at home in the kitchen or backyard. It feels right for the brand and authentic to Kristin.”
Chinese Laundry’s marketing team develops the editorial concepts, and it tapped celebrity photographer Dennis Leupold to shoot Cavallari for their second season together.
He captured shots of the mother of three posing throughout the property — lounging on a couch wearing flats and ripped jeans, and looking like she’s ready for a night out in a pair of strappy Opel black pumps and a coral dress. Throughout the day, the two chatted about her recent 30th birthday getaway to Mexico with her husband, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.
“The photos turned out beautiful because the synergy is there and [Kristin and Dennis] joke around on set,” Goldman said of the campaign shots, which will begin appearing in February. “You end up with better lifestyle images — it’s upbeat and it flows.”
He added that Cavallari’s collection continues to be a key focus for Cels Enterprises. “We’re expanding in distribution, and we have some great plans in 2017 for growth,” Goldman said. “She’s very California, and people love that.”