Intellectual Property associate Cynthia Martens authored an article in Grazia magazine's US Fall 2023 edition that discusses the impact of fashion on popular movies and television series, in the context of labor disputes in the entertainment industry (the Writers Guild strike has since concluded, officially ending on September 27; SAG AFTRA remains on strike).
"Many of the issues at the heart of the labor dispute center on the streaming business model – which affects residuals, or the long-term payments negotiated by unions for airings after an initial release – and the increasing use of new technologies such as artificial intelligence," Cynthia said. "Industry rumblings suggest fashion, hair and makeup stylists are paying attention: Studio use of artificial intelligence could affect their future too. They clearly play a significant role in the success and marketing of films and shows, but many of them – like writers and actors – are freelancers, pinballing from one gig to the next."
"Union actors have expressed concerns about the ways in which their image and voice may be used in the future, while writers have objected to the potential use of AI to cut costs in scriptwriting,” Cynthia added. “What happens if studios decide to intensify use of technology in costuming?"
Cynthia noted that the impact of fashion on the success of streaming productions is "undeniable," referring to shows including "The Queen's Gambit," "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" and "Succession," a show so popular that fashion companies utilized the show's cast in their advertising.
Cynthia concluded that fashion brands have long understood the value of tying themselves to star power. "Fashion brands, after all, are a complex distillation of aspirations and associations; as the designer and consumer marketing scion Walter Landor famously observed, 'Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind.'"
"Roll Up the Red Carpet," Grazia USA, October 23, 2023