Celebrities expand marketability with fashion lines

By on December 7, 2005

Celebrities are dying for you to get in their pants. literally. This is because celebrities have started a massive trend: their own fashion lines.

Celebrities are everywhere. You can find them in the supermarket plastered on the covers of gossip magazines, or on the TV staring back at you in their own reality shows. Now you can find them in your favorite store.

Every star imaginable has their own line from Gwen Stefani to Reba McEntire.

According to Memso Kamarake, the fashion director of Vibe magazine, “(Fashion lines have) become a right of passage. You achieve a certain measure of success in your music career, and everyone wants to start a clothing line.”

Stars quickly realize how this venture can make them instant money. In the fashion magazines, there are constant articles offering tips on how to emulate your favorite celebrities, from their clothes, to their hair and makeup. With that said, how much easier would it be to just buy from their own personal collection?

“I actually do believe that celebrity fashion lines are cheesy yet some are at times good. The only good one I have really seemed to like is Gwen Stefani’s for her uniqueness, but I think that the celebrities should let the real designers stick to creating fashion,” Christina Khoury, a sophomore public relations major, said. A design staff does most of the work, but the star does have some input in the product that carries their name.

P. Diddy launched his hugely successful line, Sean John, in 1998. Serving as the CEO of Bad Boy Records being a musician, and an entrepreneur was simply not enough for the media mogul, who has since become one of the top celebrity fashion designers around. Diddy’s line took in over $400 million dollars last year, and his new women’s line, featuring denim, fur, jewelry, skirts, dresses, and outwear, will carry a steep price tag. The rapper’s popular line can be found in Demo, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s, among others.

Other rappers to follow in the trend include Jay-Z, Damon Dash, Nelly, Snoop Dogg Ice-T, Missy Elliott, 50 Cent and Eminem.

Jay-Z and Damon Dash have entered the fashion realm with their brand Rocawear, accumulating revenue to the tune of $350 million per year. Jay-Z knows that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and has teamed up with Tiffany and Co to offer a line of luxury watches, jewelry and accessories starting at $25,000.

Although there are tons of lines everywhere, not all are as promising. Lines such as Eminem’s Shady Ltd.and Eve’s Fetish, are no longer existent or are being remodeled while they are still selling on the market.

“This collection is very wearable,” Gwen Stefani says, of her line, L.A.M.B. (love, angel, music, baby), named after her childhood dog. Women’s Wear Daily Magazine reports the line is selling in stores such as Henri Bendel, Saks, and Nordstrom.

“While not exactly cheap, Gwen’s clothes are affordable to the average Quinnipiac student. Her style is so awesome because she’s mixing the culture of Harajuku Girls from Japan over here to the US and it’s a really fun look, and definitely unique,” Suzanne Shorrab, a senior advertising major said.

L.A.M.B has had strong fall business and at the conclusion of 2005, the line is expected to reach $40 million in revenue. Celebrity designers have also enlisted the help of their famous friends to promote their new products. Gwyneth Paltrow and Cameron Diaz have been seen wearing L.A.M.B.’s funky and chic pieces, which reflect Stefani’s style of vintage Hollywood. “I was really into thrift store shopping. We would get clothes from the 1950’s and 1960’s,” Stefani said.

Jennifer Lopez isn’t only known for being a triple threat anymore. She can sing, dance, act and has one big asset.

“I love J-Lo’s new line. I like her fur jackets and I think the velour outfits are cool,” Alex Delfino, a sophomore English major said.

Lopez was one of the first to get her feet wet in fashion. and her venture has proved to be a huge success. Sweetface Fashion has been such a huge seller for Lopez, who also introduced three fragrances: Still, Live, and Miami Glow. These scents and her fashion empire, including swimwear, makeup, jewelry, hats, bags, lingerie, and footwear are worth $500 million.

Another actress famous for her body is Pamela Anderson. The “Stacked” star has designed a line focusing on accessories like bracelets, belts and earrings. Her line will not have any fur or leather, since she is an active PETA spokesperson. Well known ex-girlfriend of Hugh Grant, model/actress Elizabeth Hurley also has her own line called Beach, which launched in April 2005. The hot and sexy line of swimwear, as well as Anderson’s line, can only be found in the UK and Europe.

Aimed at a younger crowd, pop princesses and actresses including Hillary Duff, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Kelly Osbourne and Mandy Moore have started their own lines. Duff’s line, “Stuff by Hillary Duff” can be found in Target, while the Olsen twins’ popular line is featured in Wal-Mart. Their billion dollar franchise includes clothing, books, and makeup; virtually everything a young girl could want. Kelly Osbourne, known for her punky and edgy fashion choices, launched a line in 2004 with actress Ali Barone called Stiletto Killer. In your face sayings on t-shirts such as “I’m not with stupid anymore” and “I hate you” will certainly make Mom proud. Mandy Moore’s line, Mblem, was launched in 2004 at select stores such as Fred Segal, Macy’s, and Nordstrom. It currently offers a series of vintage tees featuring lyrics from Moore’s favorite artists. A percentage of the sales will go to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to search for a cure for blood cancer.

Designing fashion is not just limited to musicians. Socialite Nicky Hilton made her mark on the fashion world. Nicky has her own handbag line and recently debuted a junior clothing line called Chick. Kristen Gilmore, a Penn. State student, works at the clothing store Metro in State College, Penn. that features Nicky Hiltons line.

“I think it’s a unique idea and it’s edgy but sexy,” Gilmore said. “But the line isn’t selling very well probably because it is too expensive and the quality isn’t that great. We had three beautiful shawls with sequins on them in the store priced at $98.00, and they all fell apart.”

“No matter what there is always a skull in the shape of a heart with the cross bones on her clothing. The things where the skulls are a bit more subtle sell better,” Gilmore said.

Fragrances have also appealed to celebrity designers. Britney Spears has her own fragrances, Curious and Fantasy, and others such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Paris Hilton have also created lines. Beyonce teamed up with Tommy Hillfigger for her scent, True Star, averaging $75 million in sales. Enrique Iglesias and Tommy Hillfigger have created a fragrance, True Star Men, which will offer cologne, aftershave, and deodorant.

Meriden Mall Filene’s fragrance department counter manager, Maryellen Schaub, said that she thinks celebrity lines sell so well because, “a lot has to do with identification to the artists themselves. Everyone is doing it, so there is a lot more peer pressure.” She also has noticed that “girls are starting to buy fragrances at ages 11 and 12. The lines are selling very well.”

It seems that celebrity fashion lines will be around for awhile. Celebrities all over the entertainment spectrum are popping up constantly trying to brand you with a piece of themselves whether it is a cute shirt or a pair of jeans.


About Erica DaSilva