With the 2016 awards season kicking off last night with the Golden Globes, there’ll be one person missing from this iconic ceremony. You may not recognise the name Catherine Kallon, but if you keep up to date with red carpet fashion, you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with her website RedCarpet-FashionAwards.com, one of the most well-known fashion identification and analysis websites.
In February 2007, Catherine was working at a sports marketing company when she set up the website as a hobby. Created from a combination of Catherine’s obsession with Style.com (now voguerunway.com), frustration with inaccurate coverage of red carpet fashion, and the constant ‘laddish’ topics of conversation which took over her male dominated workplace, the website has had incredible success.
Being the middle of the awards season, Catherine was able to update the website several times a day. She identified each designer outfit worn by celebrities on the red carpet and placed them side by side with the corresponding catwalk photo from their respective fashion shows. In addition, Catherine included her own commentary of each outfit and told her readers where they could buy the outfits for themselves. Soon enough, fashion enthusiasts came flocking to the website to get their fix of the most accurate and up to date red carpet news.
When asked about the success of the website, Catherine said “I was amazed at how much people were responding to it and thought ‘Instead of me doing this just for awards season, how about I do it every time there’s an event?’ and soon after that I was like ‘Oh there’s an event every single day’”. And this is exactly what she did.
Two years later in 2009, Catherine lost her job at the marketing company due to the recession, therefore meaning she had a lot more time to spend on the website. As a result, traffic increased enormously and Catherine managed to find a way to start earning enough income to live off purely from her website alone. Linkshare is a program that allows you to earn money every time a reader buys a product online, via clicking on a link displayed on your website. Soon Catherine was earning a four figure sum, and with the site boasting up to 120,000 hits a day, brands started coming to Catherine asking to advertise on the website.
Now, however, Catherine is giving it all up. On 31st December 2015, she uploaded her final post titled ‘Thank You and Goodbye’. But what made Catherine decide to just stop? The answer to that is she is simply a victim of her own success. “I would definitely say that’s the best way that you could describe it,” she says. “It just became too unmanageable; there were too many people that I wanted to write about. I felt like I wasn’t working to the best of my abilities, and I felt like the site had grown bigger than me.”
The number of fashion events happening each day has been dramatically increasing since the start of the website in 2007, and Catherine just doesn’t have enough to report on each one. Although she did have contributors writing on the website in addition to her own updates, she soon discovered that readers only wanted Catherine’s voice and weren’t interested in the articles other people had written. “Sometimes there’d be 15 actresses at an event, and then there’d be three of these events in the night and it was just becoming too much. The site needed a team of people. I’ve been so obsessed with it. I look at my website several times a day and read people’s comments so I understood, from a reader’s point of view, that they were frustrated. They were sending me messages like, ‘Why haven’t you featured this person?’ or ‘Why haven’t you featured that person?’ I would get these messages every day.”
So now that Catherine has graciously stepped down, what’s in store for her next? At the moment Catherine is taking a break while deciding what steps to take now that she no longer has the website. She has nine years of incredible success to look back over and has learnt a lot during that time, so there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing Catherine soon begin on another fashion quest. And as for us, we just can’t wait to see what Catherine will do next.