It was a sad New Year’s Eve day when we first learned that the fashion industry’s favorite source for red carpet clothing credits was going offline.
Courtesy Catherine Kallon
Over the past 8 years, Red Carpet Fashion Awards has become the trusted source for celebrity outfit IDs for both those of us who discuss their attire professionally, and avid fans just looking to get a more in-depth scoop on their favorite stars. Needless to say, the site has garnered a pretty massive following. So when RCFA’s founder and editor Catherine Kallon announced her reign of ensemble identification was coming to an end, we were universally shocked and intrigued as to what the real story behind this decision could possibly be. With legions of loyal fans, a razor sharp wit, and the unofficial title of expert on all things celeb apparel resting on her shoulders, what made Kallon decide to give it all up? We spoke with the woman herself to find out what happened, what’s next and what she plans on doing with this sudden overwhelming amount of free time (hint: it all starts with a nap).
You talked about this in your goodbye letter on the site, but could you tell us more about why you decided to bring your site to a close after 8 years?
Basically, I’ve made it my life. My every waking hour is devoted to the website and despite all that, I felt like I wasn’t able to keep up with the demands. When I first started the site, there weren’t that many events, there weren’t that many people attending each event. Now, you can get 15 actresses at an event in a night, and when I tried to scale it down people would say to me, “Why didn’t you feature this person, why didn’t you feature that person.” The volume was becoming unmanageable, and, as a result, I saw myself spending far too much time on my computer. I was always late for everything, I always had to cancel events, and I felt like I wasn’t doing it justice.
A lot of people think my website was done by a team, but it was just me. I probably put too much pressure on myself. I would feel guilty, but I think that’s due to the fact that I respected the site and I knew that people were waiting. I would never do this, but if I were to not write about Cate Blanchett at an event, for example, I know there would be people wondering if I collapsed or had a massive stroke. So I felt like I had taken it as far as I could and like I needed a rest. I probably haven’t taken a proper holiday since I started the website.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed running the site and there is a sadness in me but, there is also this desire to do something new and see what else I can do. I grew this website out of nothing, people didn’t even know what a blog was, so I’m thinking I must be able to do something else. Lets see, lets give it a go.
Do you think the site will ever come back?
I think the site may come back again in some way, shape, or form. A lot of people have said to me, “I’ll take it over for you!” but they don’t know what it really takes. Even if the right person or company did come along, the first thing I would say is do you have a proper team. I wouldn’t just give it to anyone. I would want the legacy to still have the same time and dedication that I put into it. A singular person couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t put that pressure on anybody.
What do you see as the next logical step for fashion blogging?
I think fashion blogging will never go away. A lot of people keep saying it’s a phase, it’s going to run out. But I was looking on Getty the other day and Bryan Boy is still sitting front row. I don’t see why people want it to have a shelf life when it’s entertaining so many people and bringing brands to the forefront like never before. That, to me, is the most positive thing about this.
What did you enjoy most about running the site?
I think if I had worked for a publication, I wouldn’t have been given such free reign to write what I wrote. For example, I wasn’t really a fan of Miu Miu or Prada dresses on the red carpet. At another publication, I would’ve never been allowed to make that statement. I know there is advertising involved, and you don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you, or upset any brand because that could cost you a place at fashion week, I just never had that kind of pressure. I had that ability to say what I really felt without any fear of repercussion. Even though I wasn’t that favorable towards Prada and Miu Miu, they still invited me to events, and never once said you’re blacklisted. I think that at the end of the day, people respect your opinion.
What would you consider your greatest triumph working on the site?
I think it was definitely the 2009 SAG Awards when Angelina Jolie wore the Max Azria dress backwards. A lot of people said to me she’s wearing it the right way around, how could you say she’s wearing it the wrong way, even when I had the runway pictures right there. Then, a few days later on E! News, Jen Rade, who was her stylist at that time, actually said that it was backwards, and then it was big news! I was like I told you! It was quite funny that a lot of those people had to eat their words. People can really get their panties in a bunch when you say things like that. I was happy to have been vindicated.
Do you have any plans for what you want to do next?
I recently joined Cross Fit and I’m enjoying it, but I don’t know if fitness is my new thing. As much as I love beauty, its so technical that there’s no way I could even consider doing it justice. So I’m thinking maybe fitness, I do like sports. I’m a huge football fan and whenever I’m on their social medias I’m like, who the hell is running this. So I’ve thought about creating a social media company for sports personalities, but I have so many ideas, I need to actually sit down and put it all on paper. But I definitely want my month full of nothingness and then I can go into February with some sort of concrete plan going forward.
A fresh start.
Are you sad RCFA will be shutting down? Where will you get all of your up to the minute celeb outfit IDs now?