CONTROVERSY AS PART OF THE MARKETING PLAN: There's a new addition to Kim Kardashian's existing celebutante repertoire, which already includes gossip column staple and reality TV fixture: she's the face of a new Bongo Jeans ad campaign.
The development could raise some eyebrows given that Kardashian, whose initial rise to notoriety came through the release of a racy video with hip-hop artist Ray J, has already modeled jeans for hip-hop producer Christopher Stokes' Christopher Brian 2007 streetwear collection and even revealed plans for a jeans line of her own late last year.
So does the reality-TV-star-turned-apparel-promoter find anything contradictory about hawking a jeans brand when she's working on launching her own? "Not at all, because my line is just at its start; it's just an idea, and we don't even have a manufacturer yet," Kardashian said of the Bongo campaign, which launches this month. "Every designer takes a little from other inspirations, a little from what they like here and there. You envy something like this when you see everything done and all."
Bongo, for its part, has been trying to use would-be celebrity "It" girls in its advertisements as part of a big push to breathe new life into the brand. Past years have featured former MTV VJ Vanessa Minnillo and ex-"Laguna Beach" cast member Kristin Cavallari. "She's blowing up bigger every day," said Dari Marder, Iconix Group's chief marketing officer, of Kardashian's appeal.
But don't count out the appeal of cross-promotion. "It's also a great opportunity for us to be integrated into the show," Marder added.