Madonna. Sarah Jessica Parker. Lindsay Lohan. Jessica Simpson. Jennifer Lopez. Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen. Sean Diddy Combs. Justin Timberlake. Beyonce Knowles. Britney Spears. The list goes on and on.
Do you realize how many of our most popular young (and not so young) celebrities are also talented clothing designers?
It's uncanny. It's outrageous. It's... Liza Minnelli!
Now I bet you're expecting me to come down hard on these celebrities for cashing in on their popularity and sticking their names on clothing lines they (likely) have very little involvement in other than some modeling and personal appearances (and collecting their paycheck).
But I won't. I honestly don't see much difference between this and Donna Karan designing (years ago) for the Anne Klein label.
I mean, it's not like Yves Saint Laurent, Halston, or Givenchy are sketching anymore, right? Or even Ralph Lauren -- and he's alive. Most people understand that somebody else is designing these lines.
At this point -- when most clothes are made in the Far East regardless of brand -- does it matter whose name is on the label if you like the clothes? And if you don't like them, are you going to buy them just because Beyonce is on the tag? (I guess that's what manufacturers are hoping.)
When did this start, exactly? I know Esther Williams endorsed Cole bathing suits back in her MGM days and later started her own bathing suit company. But that sort of made sense, right? She spent a lot of time swimming.
And people can be multi-talented and have multiple careers. Tony Curtis was also a painter. Ginger Rogers liked to sculpt. Connie Stevens sells skincare. Phyllis Diller has her own brand of canned chili. (That's not a joke; I've tried it.)
But singer Jessica Simpson has an entire clothing line: shoes, dresses, intimate apparel, luggage, you name it. She is big (and getting bigger).
Perhaps busy Jessica does have some creative control. But not even Karl Largerfeld could design the amount of stuff she's offering in her collection.
Then there are people like Kathy Ireland and Jaclyn Smith. These two women are powerhouse brands unto themselves -- clothes, home collections, wigs, make up. It's mind boggling.
Fashion is a crowded world and a celebrity name obviously helps move the merchandise. But it's only going to fly if the clothes work, right? And it's going to have to be competitively priced, especially today. Shoppers are pretty savvy and have a lot of options, after all.
Wise readers, what's your take? Would you seek out Britney's shoes -- or Jessica Simpson's? Would your kids?
Does the celebrity fashion designer thing annoy you?
Would you like to see a line of Male Pattern Boldness poolside lounge wear inspired by Troy Donahue and Connie Stevens? (Google Troy Donahue Bathing Suit and see the surprise link!)
Have you ever thought about starting your own line? Quick: would you sell out to a celebrity if the price were right?
Seriously, though: Are celebrity fashion designers good for fashion or bad -- or just (cynical) business as usual?
I'm a native New Yorker and self-taught sewing fanatic! I've been sewing obsessively since 2009 and today make all my own clothes using mostly vintage patterns and vintage sewing machines. Welcome to the warm and whimsical world of Male Pattern Boldness, where the conversation is sewing, style, fashion, fabric, and more!