Marc Friedland turns Oscars envelope into something special: ‘I thought it merited some iconic stature’
When Daniel-Day Lewis or Anne Hathaway walk off the stage on Sunday at the Academy Awards (is there anyone who thinks they won’t win?), they will be clutching an Oscar in one hand and very likely a gold envelope in the other.
That envelope was designed by Marc Friedland.
Believe it or not, it was not until three years ago that the Academy began using its own specially-designed envelope for presenters to pull a name out of and announce: ‘And the Oscar goes to …’
‘They used to use a generic envelope, a standard issue,’ Friendland told me in a recent interview. ‘They have a statuette but envelope please was always a throwaway. I thought it merited some iconic stature.’
He saw an opportunity to make the envelope something special – a real keepsake for the winners.
‘The winners envelope is only touched by 16 presenters and 26 winners,’ he says. ‘My whole career I was always like, ‘What would be the most ubiquitous envelope in the world, and of course that would be the Oscar envelope.’
Friendland, creative director of Marc Friedland Couture Communication, not only has been designing the winners envelope for the past three years. Last year, he also began designing all invitations to the Oscars as well as invitations to the Oscars Nominees Luncheon, The Governors Ball and other Academy-related events.
Friedland will be attending the ceremony this year – his third time overall – and was particularly thrilled when his invitation arrived in the mail.
‘One of the treats this year was getting an invitation that I designed inviting me to the Oscars,’ he says.
Friedland has expanded into an online collection of Academy-sanctioned invitations (available for free on Evite postmark) for home Oscar parties, something he knows gay men like himself particularly love to attend.
‘Its a great way to be kind of ringside critic and commentary, to provide insight to people arriving on red carpet,’ he says. ‘But also because of the glamor and the forum that the Oscars have become, it’s a great fun thing to partake in. Everybody loves the movies and the pomp and circumstance of the red carpet arrivals. Plus there’s a lot of creativity and spectacle. It’s the perfect recipe for a gay pop culture get together.’
Friedland has worked with Oprah Winfrey on the opening of her Academy in South Africa, on the opening of LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall and with such Hollywood heavy-hitters as Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg on major events.
‘I’ve had my business for 27 years,’ he says. ‘In my mind our business is really built around helping people mark the moment.’