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25 Sep

How UTA’s Dan Constable Put the Hollywood Agency on

When Julia Garner waded through flashbulbs into the Gucci runway show in Milan last Friday, walking close beside her was the Hollywood agent who helped her get there: United Talent Agency’s Dan Constable.

At Prada, he was sitting two rows behind Benedict Cumberbatch, having orchestrated the deal that made the British actor the face of the current men’s campaign. And at Peter Hawkings’ debut at Tom Ford, he was escorting the worldwide face of Armani Beauty: Adria Arjona.

A senior agent within the endorsements group at UTA, Constable spearheads fashion and luxury deals for the division, working closely with fashion houses.

He brokered Timothee Chalamet’s reportedly $35 million Bleu de Chanel fragrance deal, made Zaya Wade’s runway modeling dreams come true at Miu Miu, and pulled together 22 Joneses, including Quincy, Rashida and Kidada, for Tommy Hilfiger’s fall 2023 family and friends campaign.

Constable’s work on behalf of his clients and agency is critical in today’s fragmented entertainment industry, when executives and creators are trying to find ways to make a profit in a less profitable business. Endorsement deals and brand constructing are sometimes more lucrative than acting paychecks. For instance, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made $270 million in 2022, making him the highest-paid actor in line with Forbes, but the vast majority of his earned income got here from his tequila brand, Teremana.

“The suitable brand partnership can offset things financially…these aren’t skilled spokespeople. They’re actors at the beginning and that is ancillary to that. But within the last five to 6 years, I’ve noticed it turn into perhaps of equal importance,” said Constable, who has increased the amount of UTA’s fashion business with several high-profile deals, and has a repute for being a great guy, which doesn’t come easy in talent representation circles.

Demand for what he does has grown since Hollywood productions have been halted attributable to labor strikes.

“There may be more interest amongst talent to find an area in fashion than ever before. Persons are available, and the interest is there, so it’s been quite busy,” Constable said when he landed in Latest York to hit the Ralph Lauren show with Gabrielle Union in the beginning of his Fashion Month.

“He’s been doing this for years, but suddenly UTA, probably due to him, is on the forefront,” said stylist Elizabeth Saltzman, whose clients include Garner, Jodie Comer and Gwyneth Paltrow amongst others. “He’s a secret weapon: friendly, empathetic, honest, not a wheeler-dealer.…I even have known him for years and watching how he listened to Julia, for instance, and said what about this. And when someone will not be feeling it, that’s OK. He’s made some smart, lucrative partnerships where people aren’t changing every three months. Thoughtful partnerships versus a business deal.”

Constable has worked closely with designer Jonathan Anderson, who forged three of his clients in campaigns — Greta Lee, Taylor Russell and Jamie Dornan.

“Dan and I first met on a campaign shoot at Luca Guadagnino’s home in Italy and since then he’s turn into a detailed friend of the home. A beautiful curator and connector, he’s someone who really opens doors between different worlds — it has been exciting to collaborate together with his incredible roster of talent,” Anderson wrote in an email.

Greta Lee for Loewe Botanical Rainbow.

courtesy photo

On the intersection of Hollywood and fashion, there are several key players that work with luxury brands and have talent attending or walking runway shows.

Creative Artists Agency has been within the news recently, after being acquired by Pinault family-owned Artemis, parent of Kering, and industry watchers wondering how the deal could alter the dealmaking power structure. Longtime client Julia Roberts was a recent CAA face to the Gucci front row this season. CAA clients and friends-of-the-house Ryan Gosling, Jessica Chastain and Mark Ronson were also on the show, which marked Sabato De Sarno’s debut as creative director.

Endeavor, whose chief executive officer Ari Emmanuel is married to L.A. designer Sarah Staudinger, owns several fashion weeks around the globe, in addition to the modeling agency IMG (catwalker Gigi Hadid is a client) and stylist and wonder pro management company The Wall Group.

But those two aren’t any longer the one games on the town relating to Hollywood and fashion. United Talent Agency has also emerged as a force in the posh space, guided by Constable during the last eight years. (The agency also has a newly formed fashion department representing creatives equivalent to Riccardo Tisci and Edward Enninful, that’s led by Anne Nelson and was created by industry veterans Blair Kohan and Darnell Strom.)

For endorsements, Constable’s experience is exclusive. As a substitute of coming up through the proverbial Hollywood mail room, he got here from the brand side, starting his profession in promoting at Deutsch, then moving to marketing, representing corporate brands equivalent to Coty in talent procurement.

He found his technique to UTA when he was working with Christy Turlington and Ed Burns for the twenty fifth anniversary of Coty’s Calvin Klein Eternity fragrance. “I represented Coty, and negotiated their cope with a girl named Lisa Jacobson, who was running the division at UTA on the time,” he said.

Recognizing that having an agent who got here from the brand side could possibly be an asset to the endorsements division, she hired him.

“In recent client meetings, where there once was a time when an actor really desired to concentrate on their film and TV stuff at the beginning, now there’s an equal seat on the table for myself and my department,” he said.

It wasn’t all the time that way.

“I might say eight to 10 years ago, we’d pitch you and convey you a suggestion after we had one but we weren’t working in tandem to essentially put the pieces in place to grow each part of those businesses,” he said.

WWD chatted with Constable on several occasions in the previous few months about his sort of dealmaking, what’s modified with the strike, what talent is in search of when working with fashion brands (hint, more creative control) and the long run. The conversations have been edited and condensed for clarity.

WWD: When did you begin going to fashion weeks?

Dan Constable: Just before COVID-19 I might go to a few shows, but now that luxury fashion is such a volume of my business, it’s a terrific time to see people I do business with.

WWD: How is the strike changing how talent take into consideration fashion deals?

D.C.: It’s brought a heightened interest and sparked a variety of chatter as to what the probabilities could possibly be.

I’ve got a client, a young actor who had a Lacoste campaign a couple of 12 months ago but he doesn’t have any current brand deals. But the previous few months when he’s not been shooting, he’s really developed a keen interest in art. And he’s taken out a studio in L.A. He’s painting these gorgeous, massive canvases. So we’re putting our heads together and pondering how could this perhaps turn into a graphic artist partnership with a fashion brand or a capsule collection or things like that?

This time has allowed us to essentially be pondering strategically about what other parts of individuals’s businesses we are able to evolve, in order to create the true multihyphenate that many individuals strive to be.

WWD: What have been your highlights, deal-wise, for the autumn season?

D.C.: The Tommy project since the family hasn’t been photographed like this before. With Quincy [Jones] being so iconic after which the backstory of Kidada Jones, who styled Quincy and Michael Jackson within the late ’90s in Tommy, to play on that history was really fun. Earlier within the 12 months, Julia Garner and Daisy Edgar Jones at Gucci, Timothée Chalamet at Chanel, and the Greta Lee, Taylor Russell and Jamie Dornan Loewe deals have gotten a implausible response.

WWD: How did Greta Lee get matched with Loewe?

D.C.: Greta has been a fan of Jonathan for a very very long time. She’s just all the time appreciated how much of a visionary he’s, and her stylist Danielle Goldberg found so many organic moments for her to be wearing the brand. There was a discussion of her going to the ladies’s show in February, after which she got to spend time with Jonathan and it type of evolved really organically from there.

WWD: In order that’s about you meeting with clients, attending to know what their interests are and who they’re desirous about after which approaching the brands and making introductions, right?

D.C.: Exactly. Every client has a special goal. Every client has different taste. Some know designers just like the back of their hand and others need a little bit of education. But Greta knows fashion and she or he knew that this was an area that we desired to concentrate on. I work with Jonathan directly in addition to together with his whole team. And so it proved to be a relationship that we were capable of construct really successfully.

WWD: Are brands hesitant work with talent in the event that they don’t have projects which are coming up imminently?

D.C.: It’s obviously incredibly necessary that one’s body of labor exists. But for those who are a reputation in fashion, even when there’s not a variety of projects, it’s still a viable space. And there are a variety of projects that we’re hopeful by next 12 months, or every time, are happening. So I’m talking about what the long run projects are only so the brands who’re signing into these partnerships now know what could possibly be ahead in the long run.

WWD: But what type of exposure can they get with someone like Greta? She’s going to the Loewe show in Paris, but I mean, there aren’t any red carpets coming up due to the strike, so is that a consideration relating to the deal?

D.C.: No, there’s other variables too, whether or not it’s brand dinners or a fundraiser gala that perhaps she can be going to to have a little bit of exposure that way. The Academy Museum of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gala and the LACMA Art + Film gala could possibly be the most important carpets of the autumn.

WWD: As you’re considering invitations that talent are getting for shows, is it like, you gotta consider what’s included, where they’re staying, how much they will be paid?

D.C.: No, it’s not all the time a financial discussion on this stuff. Loads of it’s a discussion of name aesthetic and what have past front rows felt like. Some shows are more intimate, and perhaps that’s a greater strategic move for the sort of actor. Also, it’s a discussion of is it a brand we could evolve the connection with do you have to hit it off with the designer on the dinner that night or whatever? Is that this a brand we’d really need to be in business with or does it not feel prefer it’s you? To me, that’s the fun a part of helping to steer.

Julia Garner within the Gucci Horsebit 1955 campaign.

WWD: Has the matchmaking turn into more targeted?

D.C.: Yes, the extent to which luxury brands have gotten more competitive with one another, and the way competitive coveted ambassador roles turn into for talent. There are two approaches in my mind: There’s the icons definitely affiliated with brands, but then — and that is an area I are likely to concentrate on loads — there’s emerging talent and getting in at the appropriate time to develop long term partners.

The goal for me with my clients is less transactional, and more thoughtful long run, while your body of labor as an actor is growing, growing, growing, you’ve also got this stable partner in place that grows in tandem with you. Every season, every brand has a special approach. Some have their seasonal one face, after which a pre-collection group of faces, and the pre-collection rotates by season, however the major face has continuity. What we’re striving for is continuity and never just out and in.

WWD: What’s the method once you first start working with a recent client?

D.C.: The very first thing is attending to know one another, and constructing a trust. After which establishing goals based on their interests, and what their threshold and luxury is when it comes to visibility, because everyone has different ones. I all the time do a brainstorm and ask, “What brands will we love for you?” And sometimes I meet with recent clients who wish to be in fashion but need assistance determining how. There’s others who’re like, “I like what Raf and Mrs. Prada do, how do I construct a relationship?”

There are some outliers, certain talent once you’ve got this implausible film that’s going to have an awards run, and types are calling. But more often than not, it’s about setting goals and beginning to take steps forward.

WWD: Stylists play a key role, in fact.

D.C.: It’s not a requirement, but when a stylist’s strategy is in keeping with my strategy, and so they have access to certain things to create a picture in tandem with the talent, that’s the way you’re getting eyes from the style community and constructing a repute.

I all the time say it’s necessary to search out balance on carpets, and this can be a changing topic in our business straight away. Does being fully exclusive to a brand mean to each carpet they show as much as? Or is there more value in who they turn into in the style community to allowing some variation? Some brands don’t have that willingness and a few do. I think certain variation is nice, like how Elizabeth [Saltzman] has had Julia [Garner] wearing a terrific Gucci gown, then put her in Christopher John Rogers…it’s a cool balance.

For those not yet contracted to a brand, our teams track and construct the relationships. So if someone wears a dress on a carpet, it’s ensuring that we’re back channeling with the brand so that they are fully aware we’re desirous about growing with them. At the identical time, I’m all the time tracking recent brands and collections to take into consideration what they’re going to do creatively for a campaign. Sometimes it calls for talent, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the product is the hero, so it changes every season, but that’s why I even have type of perpetually been a giant supporter of getting clients strategically to the appropriate events, getting clients to shows and creating organic relationships.

Tommy Hilfiger Fall 2023 campaign

The Jones family within the Tommy Hilfiger fall 2023 campaign.

Courtesy of Tommy Hilfiger

WWD: What happens when there’s a change of creative direction at a house like Gucci, does that make you and your clients nervous?

D.C.: It’s more let’s embrace change and see where that is going to evolve.

WWD: So nobody is ever like, I absolutely wouldn’t wear any of this, it’s awful?

D.C.: Sometimes there are calm mutual conversations, like could we customize this that way? And that is why I can’t do what I do without stylists or publicists because we’re so intricately involved in those conversations together. I’ve had times where a talent is like, yeah, that’s probably not what I’m gonna be wearing. So we now have to resolve it. And sometimes when custom will not be an option, we’ve got to speak about it and see what other options exist.

WWD: How do you already know when someone is a fit for a beauty brand?

D.C.: It’s based on the brand criteria and artistic direction and goal demo — t`hat also ranges age-wise. And it’s a balancing act of skin, fragrance and makeup, the massive three. Armani Beauty typically may have a partner in all three of those categories. Key markets also play a task. I even have an actor who’s the face of a L’Oréal men’s skincare brand that doesn’t retail within the States.

WWD: Let’s talk in any respect concerning the Chanel Bleu fragrance deal and the way that got here about.

D.C.: It was the appropriate deal at the appropriate time.

WWD: Timothée is someone who has a really keen sense of fashion himself, and has worked closely with Haider Ackermann for years. Is what talent like him want out of name partnerships evolving, do all of them want their very own brands?

D.C.: A few of my younger clients who’ve a singular perspective, individual style and social media, are wanting to set the brand new cool, yes. The concept of just insert face on fall campaign, it’s still of interest, but I’m difficult brands to take into consideration what more we are able to do. Does someone get entangled creatively directing a campaign? Do they assist concept it? Is there a product collaboration? And again, every client has different interests, but those are trends I feel in the approaching years are going to turn into quite outstanding. Given this younger generation’s unique sense of fashion, it’s also about how does their existing style fit into what the brand is doing? Versus a brand hiring said talent and that person just has to adapt.

WWD: So appears like it’s less about sign on the dotted line, do nonetheless many Instagram posts and nonetheless many red carpets, and more of a creative give and take between the brand and the talent?

D.C.: And never every brand is receptive. I mean, these are marketers at the tip of the day who’ve a plan and that’s superb. But we frequently a minimum of attempt to have some collaborative communication especially concerning the rollout on social media. In today’s world, it’s less desirable to only hashtag. I see this with so lots of my clients where it’s let’s be authentic here. Let me show my creative process. And I believe brands find yourself getting more if it’s less mandated.

WWD: You bought Zaya Wade walking the Miu Miu runway, posing within the campaign, after which attending the Miu Miu beach party in L.A. I assume it was all a part of one deal?

D.C.: Yes. I began working with Zaya when she was 15, and her number-one goal was to walk a runway. She was capable of meet Mrs. [Miuccia] Prada and after which it evolved into what it’s now. It ended up fitting into the liberty of that specific show, because that they had other talents. You go to those shows, and having an icon show up is a surprise factor. I had Kyle McLaughlin walk within the Prada men’s show. Those are cool PR moments.

Zaya Wade walking down the runway at Miu Miu's fall 2023 ready-to-wear fashion show on March 7 in Paris.

Zaya Wade walking down the runway at Miu Miu’s fall 2023 ready-to-wear fashion show on March 7 in Paris.

Giovanni Giannoni for WWD

WWD: In relation to the deal, the contracts, how specific is it? Is it you’ve gotten to hold X bag on the road so the monogram shows in a certain way?

D.C.: Not that granular. I mean, some perhaps but more so what brands are in search of in a successful partnership is for the talent to be proud to be representing them.

WWD: And what about those that should not as acquainted with fashion or perhaps not as interested? How do you educate them, how do they learn?

D.C.: They read Women’s Wear. But I’ve never really had a client who knows nothing about this space.

WWD: How do you balance clients with multiple brand deals?

D.C.: Different brands and categories exist available in the market, so you’ll be able to have jewelry, fashion and a fragrance. And there’s some major fashion houses which have their fragrance with an out of doors license. And perhaps after they did their fashion cope with certain talent, it didn’t involve that category. The more comprehensive answer to the query is they will one hundred pc exist.

WWD: And do brands get pissed off? Like when Timothée’s photographed on the road in Latest York wearing a Prada hat, but he’s just signed with Chanel Beauty?

D.C.: It just depends upon how each deal is structured.

WWD: So sometimes there might be more value for the brands who’ve a talent under contract if that talent shows their personal style by wearing different brands?

D.C.: Yes, but that is the hard thing for [brands] to simply accept. These are conversations. But for projects where I’ve been capable of have less strict exclusivity, and talent has been capable of have more variation in what they wear, they’ve been reported on more as an overall fashion person. So it’s brands being willing to share the chatter.

WWD: What trends are you seeing for the long run?

D.C.: I believe that we’ll see more continuity. Brands are realizing that they need it. I don’t represent Charlize Theron, but she’s synonymous together with her brand partner [Dior]. I’m seeing it with the deals I’m renewing in the mean time. And I believe from continuity comes greater than only a face. Brands and talent are desirous about evolving past just the transaction.

WWD: I’d argue that Charlize will not be really in the style conversation, because everyone knows she’s all the time going to be in Dior.

D.C.: I bring it up within the sense of an completed deal that had a trajectory. But to your point, that level of exclusivity is what I’m referring to as sometimes a negative. You lose the eagerness and chatter.

WWD: What’s the common length of those deals?

D.C.: I might say at a minimum a season and sometimes two or three, and might renew after that.

WWD: Are there morality clauses? Or stipulations you could’t get a tattoo in your face or whatnot?

D.C.: Yes, there are. Any time there’s a public incident with a celeb and a brand, Tiger Woods for instance, these clauses have gotten a bit stronger.

WWD: What if someone takes a task where they’ve to realize 20 kilos or shave their head?

D.C.: This comes up sometimes. And I just approach it as, I do know what you wish, let’s just talk it out. Let’s hold hands, and we’re gonna figure this out. I just had it occur with a campaign where this actor is shooting a movie where he has to have facial hair, and we squeezed within the campaign and shoot mid movie production. So he showed as much as set and so they’re like, “Great, we’ll begin to trim it down!” And I’m like, you’re not touching it.

WWD: Now that these luxury conglomerates have gotten so big, how is that changing what you do? Is it making it more lucrative? Is it making it more competitive among the many talent agencies?

D.C.: I don’t think it’s more competitive among the many agencies. I believe all of us have our different clients and relationships, but I believe it’s very competitive amongst brands, even those throughout the same groups.

WWD: So that you should not nervous concerning the CAA-Kering link?

D.C.: No.

WWD: Are there bidding wars amongst brands, for Timothée for instance?

D.C.: It’s not often that chaotic, it’s more did we get to where we got down to go?

WWD: They need to wine and dine you though, and send you the most recent Prada bag or T-shirt?

D.C.: Sometimes, but again, a variety of these people have just turn into friends. So I care about them, but there are nice perks.

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