It Costs Designers an Insane Amount of Money to FedEx Oscar Gowns

Whoopi Goldberg wearing a Christian Siriano gown to the 2018 Oscars.

Thanks in part to Instagram, we’ve all seen what it takes for celebrities to get ready for awards shows like the Oscars: the diets, the skin-care regimes, the fittings with stylists. But what we don’t see is how all those shoes and bags and diamonds get to celebrities’ homes in the first place. According to a new interview with Christian Siriano, it costs designers a ton of money.

“It’s so much money to make these custom things and send them around the world,” Siriano told Michelle Collins on her Sirius XM radio program, The Michelle Collins Show. “I mean it can be $2,000 to overnight a large box to L.A.” This year, Siriano said that his team “probably sent about 100 dresses” from New York to Hollywood for the Oscars and various after-parties, making his FedEx bill a grand total of approximately $50,000.

Kelly Ripa, Janet Mock, Laurie Metcalf and Whoopi Goldberg all ended up wearing Christian Siriano on the red carpet. So from an exposure standpoint, the cost may have been worth it — especially if a celebrity ends up on a “Best Dressed” list. (Janelle Monáe, Amy Adams, Rachel Bloom, and Holland Taylor also wore Christian Siriano to after-parties.) Fifty-thousand dollars seems like a lot of money, but when you look at the size and intricacy of the looks being shipped, it starts to make some sense.

As for why stylists and celebrities don’t foot the FedEx bill, Siriano explained that “most don’t have a budget for shipping.” In a recent round-table discussion with The Hollywood Reporter, the industry’s most powerful stylists — including Law Roach, who dressed Mary J. Blige — revealed that they, too, lose money during awards season.

“We take these jobs, make less money, put ourselves in the hole, so we can make it to that magazine,” explained Roach. In other words, dresses may appear overnight, but stylists and designers have to play the long game.

Designers Pay an Insane Amount of Money to FedEx Oscar Gowns