Kylie Jenner, 19, caused a stir last year when she appeared in a fashion spread wearing a cleavage-baring top photographed by fashion photographer Terry Richardson.
The racy images weren’t found in the pages of Vogue or Paper magazine – which the teenager didn’t appear in until this year – but in a publication owned by Galore Media Inc., a company that’s made a name for itself by finding stars before they hit mainstream outlets.
To that end, Galore launched creative agency Kitten, which specializes in connecting female social media stars with brands. While Galore Media is headquartered in New York, half of its staff of 30 work in its newly opened Echo Park office, out of which much of Kitten’s operations are based.
The agency, which represents more than 100 women (whom it refers to as “kittens”) between the ages of 18 and 24, differs from influencer marketing firms in that it signs its talent to multiyear contracts and takes a 15 percent to 20 percent commission on each deal. The firm has signed influencers to promotional contracts with brand clients including Buffalo Jeans, Apple Inc.’s Beats by Dre, and Madonna’s Material Girl junior line.
It also works with clients to create branded content for Galore Media properties such as online publication GaloreMag and its social media channels. Some of the content created in-house is also distributed through channels operated by advertisers. For example, the agency partnered with apparel maker Bongo to help promote its fall products by launching a four-week miniseries late last month on Bongo’s Instagram page using the Stories feature, a Snapchat-like video tool launched by the platform this summer. The episodes are shot live to make things more authentic for viewers.
Prince Chenoa, Galore’s co-founder and creative director, said social media created a generation of female stars such as Jenner who can influence their millions of fans into buying the products they promote.
“Brands are now creating collections and content based on the way this girl is curating her own (social media) page,” Chenoa said.
The company also makes a point of working with brands that are relatable to its core audience, which skews young and can’t afford high prices.
“As much as we love Chanel and Louis Vuitton, I’d rather do something with Guess or Missguided because it’s cool fashion that our girl can afford and likes,” Chenoa said. “For us, it’s about targeting those brands and finding a way to keep them cool through our (Kitten) network.”
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