Friday, August 26, 2011

Lauren Conrad's Sponsorship Strategy! (Forbes Lifestyle Part 5)

"A good number of companies first approached me to sponsor their brands while I was on Laguna Beach. From the moment I received my first offer I knew I had to be selective. Working with the wrong company could potentially distort my image and ultimately chip away at the faith of my fans. A sponsorship makes sense only when the company or product aligns with the qualities of my overall brand and most importantly, my personal interests.


The first endorsement I ever accepted was a deal to promote a fashion game called “Designer’s World” with the toy company Hasbro. The game allowed girls to experience the high-stakes world of fashion with an interactive console. My fans trusted my support of the game since it was a logical extension of my known interest in fashion—the deal made sense with my brand. Since my first partnership with Hasbro, I have gone on to work with companies such as Old Navy, AT&T, Sony VAIO, Linea Pelle, Kohl’s, the EYE Care Campaign and Avon’s Mark cosmetics.

Sponsorships are a diverse breed—each and every one is different. My commitments have ranged from a single day of press to multi-year contracts complete with photo shoots, press, events and various forms of product placement. Social media has also become a major factor in recent years. Most deals today require Twitter, Facebook and other forms of digital outreach. Having a substantial online presence is especially advantageous these days because larger followings and stronger connections with your market translate to a greater scope of influence, adding immeasurable value to your brand.

Aside from personal deals, I have taken on digital sponsors for my website, LaurenConrad.com. Through paid online sponsorships I am able to financially sustain my website by showcasing brands such as JewelMint and Sircuit Cosmeceuticals, which I believe my community would be interested in.

Avon’s Mark makeup line was a benchmark partnership because the deal was mutually risky: It was the first time Avon would be taking on a celebrity to face their brand and it would be my first experience as a brand ambassador. I got into business with Mark in 2006 when they were still a catalog-driven brand without any celebrity ties. They were looking for someone with a clean and aspirational image that would resonate with the young women who sold their products. When they first approached me, I was ecstatic. I’ve always had a penchant for all things beauty and welcomed the opportunity.

What began as a simple campaign grew into an incredible brand ambassadorship which enabled me to promote the message of empowering women and also learn about the corporate side of the beauty industry. Not only was I promoting a line of beauty products I truly adored, I was inspiring young women through the m.powerment campaign which works to prevent partner violence among young women in abusive relationships. I ended up doing a PSA as well as developing several products for Mark, the profits of which went to the m.powerment fund. This sponsorship is the perfect example of aligning oneself with a brand you truly believe in.

The most important lesson I’ve learned when it comes to associating yourself with another brand is to be selective. The sponsorships you turn down are just as important as the ones you agree to—it’s vital to work with companies that are harmonious with your brand. Let’s say I was to randomly promote a professional sports network. This would be an automatic red flag to my fans since I have zero connection with sports and wouldn’t make any sense. By being selective, I strengthen the connection with my fans as well as their confidence in me.

At the end of the day, it’s really about staying true to yourself and your fans."

- Lauren Conrad

How To Wear: The Maxi (LaurenConrad.com)

"Drop your hemlines, ladies! Floor grazing maxi skirts and dresses are having a moment right now. Maxis have always been a style staple for me. I love this style so much I have designed a number of variations for my LC Lauren Conrad collection as well as Paper Crown. They are comfortable, easy, incredibly flattering, and down-to-earth (literally). Plus, the style is versatile and perfect for transitioning your summer wardrobe into fall. What’s not to like? That’s why I was pleased to see designer labels such as 3.1 Phillip Lim, Missoni, and J. Crew feature fresh takes on the trend in their fall runway shows.

While maxis are certainly experiencing a renaissance, if you will, up until the 21st century women had few options aside from this ankle skimming length. Even though we might see the floor length trend as “new,” the fact is the maxi has always had a place in women’s closets. (I suppose this is where I must state the obvious: Fashion always recycles itself.)

When worn correctly, maxi skirts and dresses are as flattering as they are fashionable. However, playing with proportion can be tricky. With longer lengths, it’s all about balance. To avoid being a fashion victim, follow these tips for maxi-friendly dressing…

  1. The sky’s the limit. No matter your height (yes, I am talking to you, petite ladies) you can wear floor length dresses and skirts. That’s why they invented heels.
  2. It’s a balancing act. Keep the scale of the skirt in mind. Floor length skirts look lovely with tighter fitting tops (tucked in and/or belted at the natural waist). If the skirt is cut closer to the body, opt for a looser fitting top. Cropped jackets and sweaters also work well with floor length dresses and skirts. One of my favorite casual outfits is a simple maxi dress paired with a cropped denim jacket. 
  3. Be bold! Fashion is all about taking risks, I’ve seen girls style their maxi skirts with slouchy sweaters, tied denim shirts, and simple tucked-in tees for an effortlessly unfussy yet chic look.
Now it’s time to get inspired. Here’s a few styling suggestions…"
Loved this LaurenConrad.com post. Lauren will also be featuring 3 submitted photos of maxi skirts & dresses in her follow up post!

Lauren Conrad at Nordstrom, Bellevue!

Lauren Conrad will celebrate the launch of her new line Paper Crown by having a personal appearance at Nordstrom, September 15She will be at Bellevue Square, a large shopping mall in Bellevue, Washington State.

Nordstrom Bellevue tweeted: "@LaurenConrad We are so excited to have you visit @NordstromBvue on September 15th. We love @papercrownluvsu."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lauren Conrad & Paper Crown Pre-Spring at PROJECT!



Lauren showed her Pre-Spring 2012 Paper Crown collection at the fashion trade show PROJECT Las Vegas, August 23rd, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The
clothes look so chic, congrats Lauren and Maura! XO

Photos via BoutiqueToYou & Style Caster

Valspar Hands for Habitat Painting by Lauren Conrad!

 

Lauren Conrad has lent her hands to Habitat for Humanity! Habitat for Humanity and Valspar Paint are proud to bring you Valspar Hands for Habitat, an auction of one-of-a-kind, autographed handprints from your favorite celebrities. Each celebrity handprint, created using Valspar Paint, will support Habitat for Humanity’s relief efforts in Haiti.

Notable personalities from film, television, sports, music and design have teamed up to “lend a hand” in support of Habitat for Humanity by donating their own handprints for auction. This unique auction features a 14” x 14” canvas containing handprints and autographs from the celebrity supporter. 
Proceeds from the auction will support Habitat’s goal: help the families that were impacted by Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake move toward safe, secure and permanent housing. (This online auction goes from August 22nd to August 31st, 2011).
         To bid on Lauren's painting for Valspar Hands for Habitat click here 
Photo & article via Habitat for Humanity and Valspar Paint

Monday, August 22, 2011

PSA for Fashion's Night Out: Los Angeles!

Check out the 2011 PSA for Fashion's Night Out: Los Angeles! The event will take place September 8th, and Lauren will be at Nordstrom (189 The Grove Drive Los Angeles CA. 90036) showcasing her new collection Paper Crown, signing pictures and giving style advise. Lauren will be there from 6:00pm to 8:30pm. For more information, click here!

Behind the scenes!
 Video via Youtube

Lauren Conrad at LAVO Restaurant, Las Vegas!



Lauren and her recently launched clothing line Paper Crown are in Vegas at PROJECT Las Vegas (booth 14065, Mandalay Bay Convention Center) to showcase her brand at this international trade show.
She brought co-founder of Paper Crown and good friend Maura McManus with her and they enjoyed a dinner at LAVO Restaurant (August 21st) with some friends! I love Lauren's dress, I'm crazy about lace. 
Photos via HauteLiving

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Lauren & Lo Celebrating Jillian's Birthday!


Lauren attended her best friend Jilly Hendrix's birthday party at Trousdale nightclub in West Hollywood, August 19th, wearing leather hotpants, a sheer white blouse and a paper party hat for the occasion. I love how she's carrying her huge birthday cupcake balloon in front of her! Happy birthday Jillian! :-)
Photos via Zimbio

Paper Crown at PROJECT Las Vegas 2011!


82 Mandalay Bay Convention Center, 9AM to 6PM

Lauren's new line Paper Crown will be at PROJECT Las Vegas, happening August 22nd, 23rd and 24th 2011!

"Held bi-annually in New York and Las Vegas, PROJECT is the world’s preeminent contemporary fashion trade event.
PROJECT features the most directional brands and attracts the most influential retailers in the global marketplace; uniting them in a dynamic and community-focused atmosphere designed to drive commerce, creativity and connectivity 365 days a year." Click here for more information about PROJECT Las Vegas!

Photo, video & article via PROJECT Las Vegas

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Lauren & Paper Crown at FNO: Los Angeles!

Lauren Conrad and Paper Crown will be featured in this year's Fashion's Night Out: Los Angeles. FNO will take place September 8, 2011! Lauren will be giving private styling sessions and sign pictures:

"Nordstrom at The Grove customers will be treated to a festive evening complete with fabulous shopping of the latest trends, delicious treats and beverages throughout the store and a DJ playing an upbeat mix of party music. Pick up exclusive Fashion’s Night Out merchandise and enter our sweepstakes* for fun prizes given throughout the night. You can win a shopping spree with our Personal Stylist, a cosmetics spree with our Beauty Stylist and much more*! Fashion Rewards Members will enjoy a special GWP reusable fashion tote and if you refer a friend to be a member you will receive a bonus $20 Nordstrom Note.

In our Savvy department we will have a personal appearance by Lauren Conrad to celebrate the launch of her new collection, Paper Crown. 

From 6:00pm to 7:00pm there will be VIP Styling appointments with Lauren Conrad. Our top Nordstrom VIP customers will be invited to come to the store for a private styling session with Lauren Conrad. These customers will have a chance to mingle with Lauren while shopping the current collection and getting one on one styling advice. Guests will enjoy light passed hors d’oeuvres and champagne.
From 7:00pm to 8:30pm we will have a meet and greet opportunity with Lauren Conrad where customers who have purchased Paper Crown from now until Thursday, September 8, can meet Lauren Conrad and have a picture signed by her."

Lauren's appearance will take place September 8, 189 The Grove Drive Los Angeles CA. 90036

Article and photo via FNO: Los Angeles

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lauren Conrad & Frankie Delgado in Mexico!






Lauren Conrad was spotted at Mexico beach along with good pal Frankie Delgado, August 13th. Recently she wrote on her website that Mexico is her favorite beach.

LC Lauren Conrad Fall 2011 Collection!

FULL LOOKBOOK






Photos via Teen.com

Paper Crown Store Locator!


Paper Crown launched earlier this month and is already available at several boutiques and clothing stores. Here's a list of the stores that sell Paper Crown or that will soon:

Walk In Closet Boutique                        Beth and Maggie Boutique                     

Magenta Clothing Store                         Nordstrom       

Ron Herman                                         Planet Blue

Singer 22 Boutique                                Fred Segal                     

Clothes Hound                                      Revolve Clothing

Boutique To You                                   Luna Boutique                        

Poor Little Rich Girl Boutique             

Lauren and Maura at Alice + Olivia's Shoe Launch Party!




Lauren Conrad and best friend Maura McManus attended the Alice + Olivia Shoe Launch Party August 10 at the Palihouse Holloway in West Hollywood. Lauren was wearing a pretty multicolored printed dress with dark heels.

Photos via Celebrity Gossip

Lauren Conrad Attends Katy Perry Concert!





Lauren Conrad attended Katy Perry's California Dreams Tour, August 6, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. She wore skintight PVC pants and a pretty floral printed blouse as she headed inside the Theater.

photos via Celebrity Gossip

What's Your Go To Shoe?



Lauren's go to shoe is the LC Lauren Conrad Johanna black pumps!
Video via Kohl's Youtube

"Writing A Book Lauren Conrad Style" (Forbes Lifestyle Part 4)

I felt compelled to write the L.A. Candy series because I had a story to tell beyond the one you saw play out on MTV. I lived a unique life for six years between Laguna Beach and The Hills and only a fraction of my life story was broadcast on television. Off camera, the rest of my world was being turned upside down as I came into my newfound celebrity. I saw a book series as an opportunity to tell the other side of the story—the story about what goes on when the cameras aren’t rolling.

When I first decided to write a novel my announcement was met with a great deal of skepticism. People didn’t think a reality star could write. Even though I’ve never studied writing professionally, I think creatively and have an insider’s perspective on one of the hottest topics of my generation: reality television. L.A. Candy turned out to be a #1 New York Times Bestseller and the series has sold more than 1.5 million copies worldwide. Here’s how I did it—

How Real Is Reality?
Simply put, I wanted to pull back the curtain on reality television. I think a majority of people have no idea how deceptive and unreal reality television actually is. For instance, a friendly conversation might be mutated into a grandiose romance, or people who you thought were your friends were in fact cast to become your newest on-camera confidant. By exposing the other side, I hoped to remind people that situations are often distorted when filtered through an editing room. L.A. Candy was my chance to shed light on the actual realities of my life. Ironically, I was able to reveal these truths through fictional characters.

The Process
I always start my books by mapping out a detailed outline. This helps flesh out the story I want to tell—plot, characters and everything in between. Once the overarching story of the series is summarized, I break it down and do another outline for each book, focusing on each main character’s narrative arc. After I share the outline with my editor and get feedback, I begin writing—my favorite part of the process. I prefer to do my writing late at night when my cellphone isn’t ringing, my roommates are asleep and all is quiet.

My greatest challenge throughout the process is staying on schedule. Since writing isn’t my full-time job, working on my novel often gets set aside and when I do find time, it can be difficult to force creativity. I’ve had to ask for a deadline extension on more than one occasion.

When the manuscript is complete I send it to my editor for revisions. I learned very quickly not to get caught up in the details of my first draft because the minute you hand it over for edits everything starts to change. The feedback varies—it can be anything from a couple of comments per page to suggestions for restructuring the entire novel. From this point forward, the editor and I work back and forth on the book until all the elements work (voice, characters, pacing, and so on) and we’re both happy with the final draft.

Thankfully my publisher Harper Collins has been respectful of my creative process and extremely supportive of my work. They give me the freedom to do things my own way with everything from writing and marketing decisions, down to book cover design. A partner that is open to collaboration is important, especially when my name and brand are on the line.

The Business
Publicity is an important component of every project so marketing and PR are a vital part of the publishing process. I do press tours, talk shows and interviews just as I would for a TV show or a clothing line. I also do a book tour, where I get to meet my fans face to face and sign copies for them. This helps me connect with my readers, which is especially important for authors in today’s highly competitive market.

What’s Next?
I am currently working on The Fame Game, the first book in my next three-part series. It’s a spinoff of the L.A. Candy books inspired by the character Madison Parker. L.A. Candy was a bit easier to write because I modeled the main character’s experience after my own. With The Fame Game, I am writing from a completely different perspective. The central character, Madison, is a callous fame-chaser who has a lot to learn about herself before she is redeemed – and I’m throwing many obstacles in her way. While the writing process isn’t as fluid as my last series, delving into another character’s mindset has been a fantastic creative challenge. The first book of The Fame Game trilogy is due out in April 2012.

- Lauren Conrad