19 feb 2024

Why does Kelly Rutherford keep appealing to the fashion world?

Kelly Rutherford, who has made a name starring in Gossip Girl in the early 2010s, is back in the spotlight with the series Escort Boys and her many appearances on the front rows of fashion shows…

1. From Gossip Girl to Escort Boys: the aura of Kelly Rutherford’s characters


It is hard to think of Kelly Rutherford without thinking of Lily van der Woodsen from the series Gossip Girl (2007-2012). Still today, her role as the iconic figure of the late 2000s show seems to stick with the American actress, whose fashion aura has inspired us for over a decade. Far from the extravagance of her daughter Serena (played by Blake Lively), Lily stands out for her couture dresses and mastery over accessories, at the crossroads between opulence and elegance, always jazzed up by a luxurious Birkin bag by Hermès. “I grew up watching Gossip Girl,” Carel’s global communications director Romain Broussard recalls as Kelly collaborated with the fashion house in February 2023. “I would often pause during episodes just to analyze each one of her looks! The series really gave her great fashion credibility.”


Much as successful, recent productions like Emily in Paris, styling stands as a character in its own right in Gossip Girl. “I can imagine that all the brands had to fight to appear in the series,” Romain Broussard continues. As a fashion icon both on screen and in real life, Kelly Rutherford has been dressed by all the major fashion houses for almost a decade, building a fashion credibility that no one could ever question. Today, in 2024, her aura is still appealing to film directors. Ruben Alvès, director of the French series Escort Boys, opens up to Numéro: “The planets were aligned for us to meet. I liked the fact that she was a businesswoman in addition to being an actress. Kelly was completely in sync with the character that I had imagined.”

2. From fashion collaborations to front rows


Recently, Kelly Rutherford has made a comeback through collaborations with fashion labels and front-row appearances on the most coveted catwalks. Always carrying her timeless elegance and sharp taste with her, the American actress infuses her fashion identity into the collections she designs for different labels. Last summer she unveiled a very chic bobble-hat in collaboration with the Australian label Lorna Murray and a few months earlier she also struck the pose for the Parisian shoemaker Carel, founded in 1954, for their Valentine’s Day campaign. “When I met her to discuss our collaboration, it was a no-brainer,” Romain Broussard, who directed the campaign, remembers. “She is a woman that speaks to everyone – to both American and French women. Besides, Kelly already owned some of our shoes, so she knew the house. Everything was organic and simple: she knew exactly which pairs she wanted to rework! The collection became a hit.”


From the Parisian rooftops, where she posed for the Carel campaign, to the streets of the French capital, Kelly Rutherford has been attracting the photographers’ eyes. Especially during the latest Fashion Weeks. Like a fish in water, the actress mingled elegantly with the crowd of professionals from the fashion industry, who studied each of her looks one by one. Spotted last January at the Dior and Patou shows wearing sophisticated beige ensembles, she stunned the press and the Internet at the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring/Summer 2024 couture show designed by Simone Rocha. There, she had been photographed in a close exchange with icon Amanda Lear, before joining her seat next to the infamous Kylie Jenner – shots of the duo have since traveled the world.

3. Kelly Rutherford: a Parisian and American fashion icon


For the past few months, the 55-year-old American actress has been walking the streets of New York, Paris and Milan wearing outfits that reflect the wasp and quiet luxury trends. While some pieces are loaned by fashion houses, most of them are drawn from her own wardrobe, which we can imagine is as full as that of her character in Gossip Girl. Long fur coats, chic trench coats, tall pumps or tiny ballerinas, lightweight crochet dresses or tailored ensembles… Kelly Rutherford documents her outfits on her Instagram account with selfies captured in her elevator mirror, punctuated by equally inspiring quotes found online. Mixing the effortless myth of the Parisian woman with the colorful eclecticism of the American woman, she has forged a cutting-edge fashion identity that few public figures are able master.


Kelly is so elegant that I can imagine that many labels would love to have her as their muse. She knows the history of all the major fashion houses, but she is also very curious and interested in smaller, sometimes niche brands. Here you can spot her very Parisian style, in the combination of couture pieces and young designers’ creations. I think her followers love this very ‘fashion guru’ side of her,” Carel’s Communications Director adds. A glowing description of the actress that director Ruben Alvès also seems to corroborate, adding that he was impressed by her “softness and elegance” during the shooting of the series Escort Boys (2024). Anyway, her charm and poise will for sure continue to seduce us during the upcoming Fashion Week in February, which will undoubtedly display a full range of cutting-edge looks, captured both in Kelly Rutherford’s elevator and on the front rows of the catwalks


Escort Boys (2024) by Ruben Alvès, starring Kelly Rutherford, available now on Prime Video.


Translated by Emma Naroumbo.