By Kenneth Richard | The Impressionist
Not unlike many of us, The Impression loves a good comeback story. Life can throw some knock-out punches and we find a person’s content of a character is in not how hard they can be hit, but how they get up. For us Fashion Rocks represents the ultimate comeback of 2014 due to the perseverance of Richard Beckman, CEO of Three Lions Entertainment who produces the show.
Richard is the former President of Condé Nast Media Group where he rose through the ranks including roles as Publisher at GQ & Vogue to President of Fairchild Fashion Media. It was during his tenure at Condé Nast that Richard launched the original Fashion Rocks marrying live music with fashion. He went on to be the Executive Producer of five Fashion Rocks and one Movies Rock.
Richard parted ways with Condé Nast in 2009 and shortly after went on to help hedge fund investors Jimmy Finkelstein and Guggenheim Partners turn around AdWeek, Billboard & The Hollywood Reporter under the newly formed Prometheus Global Media. On paper it was a perfect fit as Richard had one foot in the entertainment field and clearly understood publishing. But his publishing philosophy didn’t synch with that of the hedge fund ownership and after building the new teams and steering each publication on successful paths, Richard was removed from the ring in 2011.
Media covers media, this article is no exception, and can treat it’s own with an extended hand or closed first. Some of media’s punches toward Richard during this time fell below the belt in The Impressionist’s opinion and many determined the fight was over. After all Richard had 24 successful rounds/years at Condé Nast and a few in at Prometheus. But the bell wasn’t rung & while eyes turned to another corner, Richard Beckman got up.
Richard had secured rights to both Fashion Rocks and Movie Rocks, with those in hand he gathered a few high profile partners like Ron Burkle and founded the aptly named Three Lions Entertainment. After all Richard is British, and three lions is the crest of the English National Football team, and perhaps there was a more than subtle link to ‘Richard the Lionhearted.’
But getting up requires more than simply forming a company with secured rights, it requires doing something with it. And here is where it gets interesting. Fashion Rocks didn’t end up on cable at some small venue hosted by a D-lister without serious advertisers or media partners. Fashion Rocks is airing on prime time, in a two-hour event on the CBS television network (9:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) and broadcast in numerous countries around the world. Emmy Award-winner Ryan Seacrest will host the show live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 (mid NYC fashion week). Acts include Afrojack, Duran Duran, Jennifer Lopez, KISS, Miranda Lambert, Nico & Vinz, Pitbull, Rita Ora, The Band Perry and Usher. Official sponsors include Calvin Klein, Macy’s, Aol, L’Oreal, Mazda, Time Inc., Cumulus, and Verizon. And InStyle Magazine, owned by Time Inc, produced a Fashion Rocks supplement to it’s September issue.
So the property that started off at Condé Nast, is now being published in partnership with Time Inc. and in one of it’s highest circulated properties with ads from the likes of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, John Varvatos, Macy’s and more. Author Alexandre Dumas would of likely enjoyed this tale.
The Impressionist looks forward to the next round, the Fashion Rocks show itself as well as the upcoming Movie Rocks and any other ventures from Three Lions Entertainment. But even if Fashion Rocks takes some hits from critics and fans, or gets knocked down, we know better than to be counting it out.
InStyle’s Fashion Rock supplement is out now. Below are a few smartly done illustrations for the issue by illustrator James Taylor. Get GIF versions of these designers and more “rocking out” on Instyle’s Instagram @instylemagazine.
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