EXPLAINED: All About Those Legit Celebrity Collaborations

Fashion retail brand, LEGiT, has been at the fore front of local celebrity endorsement for a decade now and they are still at it in full force. I met with LEGiT Brand Manager Ocean Ngobeni recently to learn a thing or two about the process of the campaign. 

According to Ngobeni, Legit celebrity collaboration is done in two parts. There is the designer collaboration and a separate collaboration with a celebrity ambassador. Both collaborations are handled and negotiated differently. 

The Designer

In collaborating with a designer, Legit negotiates a sale percentage based deal. That simply means; the designer gets a percentage from the profits made in selling the products from the collection he/she was involved in. 

"With a designer, you have a David Tlale or Gavin Rajah, who already have a signature (thats what they do) so it's fair that you do a percentage based deal with them because it is their aesthetic that is part of the collaboration." says Ocean Ngobeni, Legit Brand Manager. 

The Celebrity

Ocean was elated to point out; as a brand, Legit has been spotting talent in Mzansi just as it is at the cusp of blowing up. She pointed out that they were the first to collaborate with Bonang Matheba just at a time when she was starting to gain momentum. 

For the contracts; Legit apparently decides on the aesthetics of their collection for that season based on the results from their trends research, after-which they meet with the marketing team to search for an up-and-coming star who suits the direction of the collection. 

It happens like this; 

- Legit finds the latest fashion trends from around the world 
- A designer is brought in to collaborate on making the collection
- Brand and marketing team deliberate on which celebrity best suits the aesthetics of the collection
- A celeb is brought on board to work with the team to put together a capsule that best represents who the celeb is and what they like.

How much do the celebrities get paid?

In terms of payment, the celebs negotiate a once off fee based on the work and contribution they will be making to that particular collection. 

"With celebs it is different from designers. We say to them; Ok this is how much it is, of course with all of them each capsule is different, we can do 10 skirts on this one and different from the other... so based on the capsule and what it is, we say to the celeb based on the numbers and how much, this is the amount it will cost. How they collaborate with us is that we ask for a mood board from them and literally go through their closet." explained Ocean Ngobeni
We can't do a collection of things our ambassador doesn't wear. For instance when we worked with Toya [Delazy], the collection was heavy towards pants/bottoms. When we partnered with Boity she was all about fitness and her collection with us reflected that. We treat each collaboration differently thus the contracts are different too based on the numbers." 


To that question, Ocean Ngobeni had this to say; 
"I dont think we could have convinced our business side that this is a good thing if it did not have an impact.  
Say you have 100% of sales and this contributes 10% to that, it's good because that 80% would be our normal stuff. But we believe this is what we need to do to push our own agenda in supporting local talent. If we don't stand and support our homegrown talent... now you tell me, who gon do it?"

As reported this week, Ayanda Thabethe is the latest star to be collaborating with Legit on a collection. On Thursday October 6th 2016, Legit will be unveiling their Summer collection.

Final thoughts from me; 

I think the brand has done an amazing job in leading the fray when it comes to celebrity ambassadorship deals. They pioneered the trend in Mzansi and continue to do it, so I completely applaud them for that.

Of course innovation is key so at some point hopefully the brand will come up with something fresh to keep the campaign going/ But I am told that because their sister brand Edgars is heavily involved in fashion weeks stuff, it is likely that LEGiT will go that route. The BM explained it as not wanting to cannibalise each other's projects.

So what do you think about LEGiT's celebrity collaborations? Do you buy their clothes based on the celebrity collaborator you like? Hit me up on social media.

Like Ace did. He had this to say;

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