Celebrity shopping discounts: How designers decide who's in and who's out (Sorry, Tara Reid)
According to a report in yesterday’s Page Six, Tara Reid went on a tirade inside the L.A. outpost of British clothing chain All Saints after she was refused a special discount reserved for celebrities and other V.I.P. customers. A source quoted in the story said that, upon being told that she’d have to pay full price, Reid — who had stopped in to buy an outfit for the Coachella Music Festival — began screaming at staff and had to be escorted out by security.
All Saints declined to comment on the incident.
Turns out, walking up to the cash register and asking “Don’t you know who I am?” isn’t the way to score a designer deal.
While some brands give their clothes away for free (and a very few even pay celebrities to wear them), most stars are still expected to pony up the cash for their purchases. Still, many labels offer their famous clients discounts in order to encourage them to buy — and hopefully be photographed wearing — their designs.
“[Many celebrities] just assume that they should get a discount, and they have no problem asking for it,” says one publicist, who is responsible for doling out the perk — which can amount to 25% or more off the retail price — for the fashion and beauty companies she represents. “When we give discount cards every year, I get emails from publicists, agents, and the celebrities themselves asking why they haven’t received theirs yet.”
Special shopping privileges are difficult to get and can easily be revoked, which means celebrities can’t take them for granted. In February, Lady Gaga publicly accused her former assistant of using a discount at Saint Laurent without permission, which could have damaged the fashion forward pop star’s relationship with the luxury label. And just as trends come and go, when it comes to deciding which celebrities deserve discounts, one day you’re in, the next you’re out.
The bad news for stars who have become more infamous than famous? “We keep a very tight list,” the brand rep says. “[The list of] who is discount-worthy this year, will be very different next year,”
Considering that Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, and Rihanna are just a few of the A-listers spotted wearing All Saints in recent weeks, it’s likely Reid didn’t make the cut for 2013.
There is good news for Reid: Discounted All Saints merchandise is sold in the label’s store at the Desert Hills Premium Outlets in Cabazon, Ca., not far from where Coachella takes place. Though it is currently closed for re-location, the All Saints outlet is estimated to re-open in mid-May, which gives Reid plenty of time to stock up for next year.