Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Getting Red Carpet Ready Has a $40,000 Price Tag

New, 1 comment
Photo: Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

Is a "free" red carpet dress or "free" jewels on loan from a brand really free? The New York Post broke down all the costs associated with getting stars red carpet ready and the outlet's sources estimate that there's a more than $40,000 fee associated with each award show appearance.

It's unclear in some cases who covers what exactly, between actors' studios and brands who are clamoring for publicity, but read on to see how the Post quantifies each component of an award season look.

The dress: Even if the dress is borrowed from a brand — not purchased off the rack from Neiman's — the celeb stylist who tracks down said gown has a costly day rate. The Post estimates that well-known stylists can charge around $1,500 a day, and that can add up if there's a week or more of prep work. The stylist's fee is usually picked up by the studio behind a celeb's movie, though.

If a fashion house has to fly a tailor to the event, the brand pays up for any associated airfare or hotel cost, in exchange for publicity. That could run in the thousands.

The hair: The Post's sources say top stylists like Chris McMillan can charge $2,000 a day. The hairstyle might require a few days of prep too.

The makeup: Top makeup artists supposedly charge $1,500 an hour, and that figure can go up to $5,000 for exclusivity. But if the makeup artist is working with a brand for the event, the brand could possibly cover the cost.

Nails: $300, and that's the "friends & family" rate for celebs in need of top manicurists for house calls. "A lot of times the celebs will [pay] on their own and — I can only speak for myself — I’ll give a much-reduced rate," the Post quotes celebrity manicurist Tom Bachik as saying.

The jewelry: Those priceless diamonds might be on loan, but the Post reports it can cost a jewelry brand at least $20,000 to keep it all safe. "Armored trucks, guards, and insurance are all part of the process," Forevermark Diamond expert Kristen Trustey says in the article.