from Agamemnon to the ‘influencers’

The 1920s. The purest of Hollywood brought together the most dazzling dresses and suits, worn by the most recognized and respected actors in cinema, in one place. He did it at the Egyptian Theater on the occasion of the premiere of Robin Hoodand its catwalk was a long carpet that served as a showcase to demonstrate that, on that October 18, 1922, Douglas Fairbanks Y Wallace Beery They were above the rest of mortals. With a postcard of glamor and without touching the pavement, those requested Americans distinguished their social status, without knowing that they would mark the beginning of a firm tradition.

Premiere of ‘Robin Hood’ at the Egyptian Theatre.

The invention became sophisticated and quickly made its way to the Oscars (1961). To the crimson carpet was added the photo call, full of photographers, with a background wall full of names of sponsors who maintained -and continue to do so- the event. “The idea of ​​glamor was instantly associated with the red carpet. For the actors, it was all about them, and that’s what Hollywood loves,” said Amy Henderson, a historian at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

But to be frank, Sid Grauman wasn’t a pioneer in rolling out a long rug you could walk on. The first record dates back to the Greek epic: The Oresteiawritten by Aeschylus in 458 BC agamemnon He returns from the Trojan War and Clytemnestra, his vengeful wife, demands that the ground on which he walks with his horse be covered, she made a red carpet.

Since in those times the purple color was very difficult to synthesize Because it came from the dry, powdery secretion of a mollusk that inhabited a small area of ​​the Red Sea and was therefore exclusive – only people with higher purchasing power could be accessible to it – it is said that the red carpet was at the feet of the gods.

This characteristic emblem has remained synonymous with high status in the 20th and 21st centuries. In 1821, the arrival of the fifth US President James Monroe was marked by a red carpet being rolled out alongside his riverboat. After this event, the red carpet becomes a regular at high-profile events. As a follow-up to its rise in popularity, the phrase “red carpet treatment” appears in the 20th century. So Railroads decided to take advantage of this detail to make first class passengers feel special. A unique 1902 New York Central Railroad express train used a red carpet to welcome and guide travelers on the 20th Century Limited train. They were the ones who popularized it.

Samples have also been found in Siberia dating to the 5th century and earlier.

The red carpet: the importance of visibility

María Pombo attends the VIII Edition of the PLATINO Ibero-American Film and Audiovisual Awards
María Pombo attends the VIII Edition of the PLATINO Ibero-American Film and Audiovisual Awards EP

And that’s how cinema, red carpet and stars began a perfect ‘wedding’ that now, thanks to social networks, is experiencing a second golden age. Piti Alonsoevent organizer, declares for The Sixth News that “before, the photo appeared in ten media outlets. Now, if you have a million and a half followers, then a million and a half followers who will see that photo. With the help of influencers the ‘purple catwalks’ still reach more people. Alonso adds that «now there are red carpets only for influencers«. They have become the visible face of marketing, managing to reach premieres, major awards, premieres and previews.

That is why many, aware of their visibility, have used the red carpet to launch their messages. In 1993, in the midst of the AIDS pandemic, the Oscars red carpet was filled with red ribbons. In Spain, more papers are requested for women. And in Cannes in 2016, Julia Roberts walked barefoot as a protest against the etiquette imposed by the Festival that forces women to wear heels.

Julia Roberts barefoot on the red carpet
Julia Roberts barefoot on the red carpet

In this latest edition, a Ukrainian activist protested naked for the violations that were being committed in her country, after the invasion of Russia. An event that the Festival did not tolerate, ‘placando’ her to cover her up and get her out of the flashes.

For decades, the catwalk has not only brought out the coveted actors, but has also served as a screen to visibility, an opportunity to show what really happens without the need for makeup.

An activist sneaks naked on the red carpet of Cannes to denounce rapes in Ukraine
An activist sneaks naked on the red carpet of Cannes to denounce rapes in Ukraine

Nowadays, the red carpet gets as much attention as the main part of the event. This one also has its own hosts who ask guests ‘Who are you taking?’ The media frenzy around you finances entire companies. There are designers who specialize in red carpet fashion, separate red carpet collections, red carpet stylists, and even red carpet deals. pay to wear (pay to go). I mean, the biggest names in show business get paid to don designer gowns on this coveted carpet. From a fatal road to a byword for glamour, there’s no doubt that the red carpet has come a long way.

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