Kitty fight

The New York Times has an interesting little story about the cozy relationship between boutique stores and celebrity weeklies in today’s Thursday Styles. The Times describes how the system should work: Retailers pitch their celeb connections to the glossies, “the magazines, in turn, satisfy readers’ hunger for knowing how the stars shop, eat and live; the paparazzi sell pictures; the celebrities get exposure; and the retailer, of course, attracts shoppers.” But the balance has been thrown off by Frasier Ross, owner of Los Angeles boutique Kitson, who recently filed a lawsuit against Us Weekly for allegedly blackballing his store — for instance, running a picture of Evangeline Lilly at a party at the store last July that didn’t name Kitson as the site. Martin Kaplan, associate dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication in L.A., tells the Times that the case shows how celebrity journalism “has been completely appropriated by marketing. If you just see the writing and the covers and the way swag is distributed to stars by merchants, the whole thing is a kind of free for all.” (N.Y. Times)

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