Kristen Stewart Goes Live
Kristen Stewart’s warming up for the last leg of her Twilight tour – and this is a brilliant way to do it. After botching her initial response to the cheating debacle, she’s executed a series of stronger, savvier plays (and she needs to if she wants to not be enveloped by her personal life, which was a real danger just a month ago). What a difference a few months makes. Is this the same person who issued a public apology for her private actions? The one who swore never to speak about her relationship and then wailed, “I love him, I love him, I love him” to PEOPLE magazine?
It was Stewart’s desperate and ill-advised apology that kept that story going. As has been said before, when she issued that statement, she gave Twihards (and even casual gossips) an opening into her life. She was weakened and had lost control – someone in control doesn’t offer a public apology for something so pedestrian. She was begging for forgiveness from people she hadn’t wronged.
But now Stewart is bouncing back from a public relations miscalculation and I don’t mean the affair – no one is clutching their pearls over infidelity in Hollywood, especially not when it involves a 22-year-old and her heartthrob boyfriend. Balenciaga has set up a 30-minute interview with her, to be aired live online on October 18 with no press access or password required, meaning everyone can watch it on Balenciaga’s website and Facebook page. (My first thought: can they handle the Twihard traffic?) And to add to the fan frenzy, people can submit as many questions as they like (click here if you want to participate). Which questions get through is up to moderators (only 20 can be picked), so these Twihards have their work cut out for them. I mean imagine the honour of getting to say, “We LOve u KristeN and LIbertY ROSS is a DUMBSKanK LOL.” Because there’s a loud, vocal majority of Stewart’s fans who actually think that.
But of course those questions won’t get through; the interview is being moderated by a French fashion editor and it will focus on Kristen’s role as brand ambassador. I love this partnership. I especially love how Balenciaga just shrugged their shoulders at the whole cheating escapade and didn’t release a statement saying they were “disappointed” or dropping her; they didn’t treat her like an overgrown child without a vagina. I imagine that among a certain set, the affair might have even made her a bit cooler, more grown-up, more on-brand for a European house. They aren’t sticking with Stewart because they have to, they are sticking with her because she’s never been hotter. And they are also keenly aware of her fanbase, hence the interview hashtag, #KStewlive. You think she would want to get away from the KStew stuff as much as possible (because KStew inevitably leads to Robsten), but when you have a perfume to sell, and a movie, it’s better to be pragmatic than prideful. The press release included approved photos and didn’t shy away from mentioning Snow White and the Huntsman.
Will the fans buy the perfume? Maybe. Will they watch the video? Hell yes. If her number one goal was to sell perfume, she would have signed her own deal and be on Wal-Mart’s shelves for $40. This is big picture for her, building towards an upscale, arty brand far away from bed sheets and key chains. (Lainey: keyword “BRAND”. This girl is a business now.) She’s handling her sh-t the way Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, and her friend Charlize Theron would – she’s showing her A-list ambition. SO much better than offering herself up for trial by morality jury. (Lainey: or diving into a dumpster every time someone wants to take her picture.)
Fandom, scandal and social media will get Balenciaga the attention it wants, and Stewart’s figuring out how to bring her fans into the fold when she needs them (plus she doesn’t have to play with traditional media outlets to pimp her endorsement). It’s capitalizing without pandering. It’s what Angelina Jolie does very well.
Attached - images of Stewart as released by Balenciaga and photos from Sunday when she was at the Florence & The Machine show with her dad.