More and more celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian are turning into department stores. Here is the platform that will help grow their client list.

Kourtney Kardashian.

Kourtney Kardashian Barker.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic/Getty Images

In a few years, you might be buying everything from loafers to hair masks from celebrity marketplaces like Kourtney Kardashian’s Poosh and Graydon Carter’s Airmail instead of Macy’s or Nordstrom.

These new online stores use Cortina β€” a platform co-founded by Brooke Cundiff and Keith George, a graduate of retail giants like Gap and Gilt Group, that helps prominent marketplaces like Poosh and Airmail sell products to customers.

“I think the names Macy’s and Saks will have less of an impact over time than names like Kardashian, Drake, LeBron James,” George told Insider.

Gwenyth Paltrow’s Goop, which launched in 2008, set a precedent in the celebrity marketplace. Unlike Amazon, it offers a more curated selection of products (think an LED sign handwritten by Paltrow himself or satin sheets) alongside lifestyle-related content like recipes, workout tips, and relationship advice.

Over the years, Goop has blossomed into a cultural phenomenon that has inspired admirers and outraged cynics alike. It’s even evolved into a noun β€” “goopification” means infusing anything and everything with Paltrow’s sophisticated, if not overpriced, approach to wellness.

George predicts that in the next era of retail, celebrities and influencers will become “virtual agents of cool.”



Several celebrity marketplaces have popped up in recent years. Kardashian (now Kardashian Barker) launched Poosh in 2019, selling items like royal jelly and collagen cream, and publishing articles on topics like increasing your attention span and making fashion sustainable.

Former Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter also launched Airmail in 2019, a digital weekly newsletter with a “very selective” online showcase.

Now platforms that act as a bridge between brands, celebrities and their audiences – like Cortina – are also on the rise. George said Cortina has a sign-up list of athletes, musicians and big names that he can’t disclose just yet, but anyone with over 10,000 followers on existing social media channels can monetize their platform with Cortina.

Celebrity marketplaces could also help traditional brands attract customers. In recent years, platforms like Facebook and Instagram have skyrocketed the cost of customer acquisition, leading more and more brands to turn to influencers or celebrities to attract paying customers.

“A celebrity or an influencer has an audience that trusts them in terms of their advice and their position,” George said. “You can say these are the brands that I really support and love and can bring them all together in one place.”

However, there is also some risk in giving celebrities too much control over the brand. As The Wall Street Journal recently pointed out about Kanye West’s split from Gap, many celebrities have “more say” over the brands they work with. The Journal noted that while lesser-known celebrities don’t shake as many feathers, “megastars” like West, Rihanna, or the Kardashians are often in control of the balance of power between them and a brand.

Graydon Carter

Graydon Carter.Dimitrios Kambouris/Staff/Getty Images

Graydon Carter believes this reflects the changing rules of business success.

β€œFor decades, magazines had a tremendous impact on what people bought. Readers trusted us, but we couldn’t interact with them,” Carter told Insider.

With Airmail, he’s able to connect more directly with readers (and buyers).

“Let me remind you that an lingerie mogul named Kim Kardashian just announced that she is starting a private equity firm. You ignore change at your peril.”

Read the original article on Business Insider

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