Companies that hire them: All established fashion companies have public relations staff to handle press inquiries and those all-important celebrity placements. At high-end jewelry and couture houses, these roles are especially important because of the visibility of the awards shows at which stars sport their wares.
Number of jobs in the U.S.: There are about 100 major fashion companies in the U.S., with P.R. and celebrity teams at each ranging in size from one person to 10.
How to find out about openings: Big fashion companies advertise their P.R. openings on industry sites, including 24seveninc.com and stylecareers.com, while general job sites like Monster and Craigslist also have ads. The easiest way to get a foot in the door is a connection, so tag along with friends to industry parties and reach out to anyone you know who works in fashion.
How much you can earn: Assistants in the public relations and celebrity arena might start out with salaries in the $35,000 to $45,000 range, according to Elaine Hughes, president of fashion industry executive search firm E.A. Hughes & Co. Directors can earn anywhere from $90,000 to $125,000 and up.
Useful skills: Good communication skills, a sense of comfort around stars and their entourages, and organization-when you're lending jewelry, millions of dollars are on the line, not to mention priceless celebrity �relationships.
Last July, Courtney Stursberg, a public relations and celebrity coordinator at H. Stern, traveled to Paris with $8 million worth of diamond jewelry, including a pair of $500,000 diamond earrings. Stursberg and the gems were headed for the celebrity event of the summer, the wedding of Eva Longoria, star of Desperate Housewives, and Tony Parker, the star point guard of the San Antonio Spurs. The earrings and a few other pieces were designed specifically to match Longoria's wedding dress.
Stursberg, a 24-year-old who joined the Brazilian-based jeweler in 2006, handles celebrity jewelry loans for the 63-year-old company. And although she didn't get to meet the bride-to-be on her trip, that was hardly the point. When a celebrity like Longoria sports gems from �H. Stern, "the publicity is priceless," says Stursberg.
Fans see H. Stern jewels on stars like Longoria-or Angelina �Jolie, Sharon Stone, and Catherine �Zeta-Jones, all of whom H. Stern has provided jewelry for in the past-and remember the name, then start to covet, and save for, its less expensive baubles. (As an added benefit, many times the celebrities themselves wind up buying jewelry that they borrowed or have seen in the collection, according to Stursberg.)
This time of year is Stursberg's busiest, with the annual run in awards shows for the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Grammies, culminating in next Sunday's Oscar ceremony, the high-school prom of the �entertainment industry.
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