In the universe of Taylor Alison Swift, nothing happens by chance. And, sometimes, those “non accidents”, also known as “Easter eggs” to her legion of fans, can reverberate all the way to Australia.
Such was the case at Monday’s Super Bowl LVIII, where Swift had flown Las Vegas from Tokyo – at warp speed, thanks to her private jet – to watch her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, play in the Kansas City Chiefs’ last-gasp win over the San Francisco 49ers.
The Chiefs may have triumphed on the field, but it may fall to Australian designer Dion Lee to have the last laugh. Such is the strength of so-called “Swiftonomics” – AKA “The Tay-Tay effect” – that even if the $650 crochet corset Swift wore to the game isn’t an overnight sell-out (which it surely will be), the appearance will be a money-can’t-buy marketing opportunity for Lee, says Queensland University of Technology marketing professor Gary Mortimer.
“Fashion retailers cannot underestimate the power of celebrity endorsement,” he says. “You only need to look at celebrities, sports stars and even royals to see the impact they can have on a brand. It’s almost immediate.”
Catherine, Princess of Wales; Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and Princess Diana, in her day, have been known to move product and turn up-and-coming designers into household names, sometimes overnight.
It’s not the first time Swift has worn an Australian brand – she’s also a fan of denim shorts by Ksubi – but the proximity to her tour arguably makes the Dion Lee placement her most valuable yet for an Australian label.
Other Australian brands to have experienced a similar buzz include Zimmermann and J’Aton, both of which have dressed music megastar Beyonce. And Rebecca Vallance, who has many celebrity fans, recently scored a coup when Paris Hilton was photographed wearing one of her dresses.
Lee has been approached for comment.