Usually, when people think of Hollywood’s Golden Age past, they usually think of certain celebrities. Their images of Marilyn Monroe come to mind, for example. It’s easy to reduce Hollywood’s Golden Age into the form of celebrities, but if you really want to the essence what made Tinseltown so awesome in the past, you have to look past individuals. You really do. As awesome as Clark Gable and Cray Grant may be, what made the silver screen such a magical place back in the day goes beyond personalities. It went beyond celebrity brands.
It really all boils down to personal style, and this is what Kim Dao, a YouTube vlogger living in Japan, recaptures. Kim is at the forefront of YouTube-powered personality brands and online celebrities who have truly recaptured the global imagination about personal style. Ms. Kim’s feat is all the more remarkable because, just like in Hollywood-both in the Golden Age past and currently-standing out from the crowd is not easy at all.
You have to understand that in Hollywood’s Golden Age, whatever image or brand identity you may have come up regarding certain celebrities is actually planned in advance. It’s the product of many people from all over the world working together to create a global brand. You can consider it branding or celebrity making by committee consensus. As you can tell, there was probably a lot of money thrown at such synthetic or manufactured brands.
However, the problem here is that these brands don’t have a two-way conversation with their intended audience. It’s a hit-or-miss affair. For every Marilyn Monroe, there are countless Jayne Mansfields and other B-movie starlets. Despite all the dollars Hollywood bigwigs and big shots poured into the celebrity or star-making machine, a lot was lost in translation. This really is too bad because if a lot of those star-makers and brand consultants had access to YouTube or Instagram, they probably would have cranked out better stars.
This is what Kim Dao’s amazing vlogging career truly represents. Gone are the days where we have to be at the mercy of some sort of hidden committee of Hollywood elites deciding what is good for America or the world. We don’t have to wait for the next big thing as decided by the powers that be.
Ordinary people like Kim can interact with a community and, based on that community, build a solid brand. That’s right! Thanks to platforms like Instagram and YouTube, rank-and-file people from all over the world can become true-blue, certified celebrities.
This is why recapturing the stylist glory of the past is actually very easy now. You just have to have a game plan. You just have to have a clear idea of what kind of brand you want to build for yourself. This is exactly the kind of advanced planning and style-based focus that truly distinguish the career of Saul Bass. It’s good to know that YouTube stars like Ms. Dao have taken up the baton.