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Your Guide to Celebrity Fashion Lines

Posted on February 20, 2013 by
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Rihanna just debuted her River Island Collection during London Fashion Week which officially gives her an invitation to the celebrity fashion designers  club.

Celebrities can be great people to look up to when looking for style inspiration, but some celebs are a little bit easier to channel sartorially than others as you can purchase a little bit of them through their own fashion lines. However not every celebrity-turned-designer are as good as others.

Let us guide you through the messy world of celebrity fashion lines to see which celebrity fashion lines you should save your change for. We break down who’s worthy of becoming a fashion brand, who’s merely a hit, and who should keep their day job in one handy dandy list.

1) Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen: The Row, Elizabeth & James, Olsenboye, StyleMint, and Mary-Kate and Ashley for Wal-Mart.

Where to begin with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen? The famous duo got their start in the entertainment industry at the ripe ol’ age of six month, when the fraternal twins took turns playing baby sister Michelle Tanner on Full House. That was only the beginning and they went on to build an empire worth over one billion dollars. Apart from the iconic role of Michelle Tanner and their many movies and other T.V. shows, the twins managed to create a name for themselves within the fashion industry.

Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen top our list because not only have they had a head start in the business than most celebrities, their many fashion lines have managed to boost their fledgling adult acting careers and have given them a new sense of purpose and career path. Their many successful fashion lines have been the envy of other celebrities since they are quintessentially the blueprint for other celebrity fashion lines. The sisters have all markets covered from luxury brand The Row, to mid-market brand Elizabeth & James (the Elizabeth is for their sister who has now become a in-demand actress herself), and Olseneboye which is an exclusive partnership with mass-market department store JC Penney.

So not only are their fashions available to everyone which score major points, but when other celebrities where your clothes then you know you’ve made it as a fashion designer.

Verdict: Major Fashion Brand- for their mass market and high fashion appeal and high-end and low-end price ranges.

2) Victoria Beckham: Victoria Beckham Collection, dvb, and Victoria by Victoria Beckham.

While as Posh Spice, Victoria Beckham wasn’t the usual centre of the attention as she had to compete with the more in-your-face members of the iconic girl group, the Spice Girls. But now that she’s been on her own, Victoria probably commands the most attention from the public than any of the other members of the Spice Girls. While she did attempt and ultimately floundered at a solo pop career, Victoria has maintained her A-list status as a major fashion icon– all thanks to her impeccable fashion sense, her superstar athlete of a husband David Beckham, and her trademark pout.

What makes Victoria Beckham’s fashion lines so successful is that she’s the best brand ambassador for her clothing. Wonder what she’s wearing in all those various paparazzi shots of her? Well she’s most likely wearing her own clothes! Other stars have taken notice as well, having been spotted and photographed wearing clothes from Victoria’s collections. (Other celebrities wearing your designs a major fashion coup!) The problem with celebrity fashion lines are that the celebrities hardly ever wear their own designs! While celebrity designers might don their own designs once in a while, they are never as consistent as Victoria Beckham.

Verdict: High Fashion Brand- for its high fashion appeal but unfortunately her clothes have high-end to mid-market price tags on them. So you better save up!

3) Rachel Zoe: The Rachel Zoe Collection and Luxe Rachel Zoe.

For famed celebrity stylist and star of the reality T.V. show The Rachel Zoe Project it should be no surprise that she would end up with a celebrity fashion line herself. Being the stylist to some major A-Listers like Cameron Diaz, Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway, and Jennifer Lawrence, has given Rachel a lot of  clout within the fashion industry as many high-fashion brands crave for Zoe’s cliental to be dressed in their designs.

Being a sought-after stylist has trained Zoe’s eye on what is fashionable and what isn’t which she has channeled into her clothing line. Signs that your clothing line is a hit is when other celebrities are spotted wearing your designs and Zoe’s collection has already surpassed that hurdle (Legendary supermodel Iman has been spotted in a Zoe design, now that’s a big deal!).

Verdict: Fledgling Fashion Brand – High fashion with affordable price-tags but not enough name recognition. Despite the initial hype and fanfare reported sales have recently dropped. Perhaps sales are tied to her T.V. show and will rise once her reality show, The Rachel Zoe Project, returns.

4) Jessica Simpson: The Jessica Simpson Collection.

Did I ever consider Jessica Simpson to be a fashion icon? No. Am I surprised at how successful her fashion line is? Yes. With that out of the way I can say that I appreciate her approach to the fashion industry. She brings her down-to-earth attitude to fashion and makes it approachable for everyday people. She’s not trying to get everyone to dress like her and to emulate her style, she’s just trying to give a bit of celebrity style to the masses. Sometimes fashion can be elitist and that’s just malarky! Simpson’s clothing line has become one of the most successful celebrity clothing lines out there, and when I say successful I mean, cha-ching cha-ching! In 2010, Simpson earned $750 million from her collection. That’s baller status!

Simpson’s fashion industry savvy has rightfully earned her a spot on the reality T.V. show Fashion Star, where wannabe fashion designers compete to have the most sellable and profitable designs at various department stores. The thing about the fashion business is that you need to be bankable, if you can’t sell then you’ll fold and be forgotten.

Verdict: Surprise Fashion Brand- Celebrity fashions at a low-end price range. Affordability is great but unfortunately the Jessica Simpson name doesn’t have that caché that other clothing lines have.

5) Kimora Lee Simmons: Baby Phat, KLS, Kouture by Kimora, and Fabulosity.

Supermodel Kimora Lee Simmons will forever be the Queen of urban fashion. Her ex-husband Russell Simmons, the co-founder of hip-hop label Def Jam and brother to Run-DMC’s Rev. Run, founded urban fashion line Phat Farm which will go on to inspire other successful hip-hop fashion lines like Diddy’s Sean John clothing line and Jay-Z’s Rocawear clothing line. Urban female fashion was an untapped market until Kimora stepped in with Baby Phat, a sister line to Phat Farm, in 1998 and the hip-hop world has never been the same since.

Although Kimora ended up splitting up with Russell Simmons and Baby Phat, she now heads three new clothing lines which still bring in the big bucks for Ms. Kimora. Unfortunately her new fashion lines haven’t reached the iconic level of Baby Phat, you can’t deny she took Baby Phat fashions to new level and it’s just a matter of time before her other clothing lines have that instant name brand recognition.

Verdict: Confusing Fashion Brand- Kimora is synonymous with Baby Phat, so now that the two have parted ways it’s hard not to think of one without the other. Fortunately for her she’s still making money from her other lines, unfortunately her other lines are easily forgettable.

6) Justin Timberlake: William Rast.

Are you excited that Justin has returned to music? I sure am! He took a break from music after his successful album “FutureSex/LoveSounds” to focus on his acting. However, acting wasn’t the only thing he had his eye on and he went on to start William Rast with his childhood friend Juan “Trace” Ayala in 2005 to show off their take on the classic American look.

The clothing line was a little under the radar until they decided to introduce some more affordable options to mass-market Target stores and things have looked up. Originally out of most people’s price ranges, William Rast got new life as an affordable fashion brand. And their affordable yet fashionable jeans have become a huge hit for the duo making the jeans a must have item for everyone’s wardrobe.

Verdict: Simmering Fashion Brand- High-end fashion at affordable prices. While some celebrity fashion brands come out of the gate running, William Rast has slowly but surely come along gaining name recognition and fashion accolades along the way.

7) Beyoncé: House of Deréon.

It seems Queen Bey can do no wrong — apart from the lip-synching snafu at the 2013 President’s Inauguration which she rightfully redeemed herself at the amazeballs Superbowl halftime show. The only black mark on her resume just might be her House of Deréon fashion line. Letting her mother Tina Knowles be the creative force behind the line might be the reason for the line’s failure since Tina’s designs for Destiny’s Child were less fashionable and more kitschy. But can anyone fault Beyoncé for not wanting to fire her mother?

Perhaps if House of Deréon were headed by fashion forward younger sister Solange or even established fashion mogul husband Jay-Z (of the already successful Rocawear) things would be looking better for the fashion line. There was a revamp of the fashion line in the 2012 so lets hope the reboot will be worth it.

Verdict: Failed Fashion line- Say it ain’t so! Queen Bey may run the world but the the world of fashion is not part of her domain.

8) Gwen Stefani: L.A.M.B., Harajuku Lovers, and Harajuku Mini for Target.

Ms. Stefani has such an iconic sense of personal style that it was no surprise that she came out with her fashion line L.A.M.B. She draws her style inspiration from all over the world and infuses her rock star sensibilities making her fashion line a standout. But things really took off after Gwen introduced the world to funky Japanese street style from the Harajuku neighbourhood in Tokyo.

However the line has kind of had a roller-coaster trajectory with some high highs and some low lows. Some seasons have been widely praised from the high fashion world and some other seasons have been less than spectacular. Despite the bumpy road L.A.M.B. and Harajuku have global brand recognition giving Gwen Stefani an edge over other celebrities.

Verdict: Funky but Inconsistent Fashion Brand- Stefani’s clothes are fun and funky and a great addition for anyone’s wardrobe. However some seasons have been hit or miss, so know when to buy and know when to wait.

9) Kimye (Kim Kardashian and Kanye West): Kardashian Kollection, K-DASH, DASH Clothing, DW Kanye West, and Kanye West.

I’m lumping these two together since they really deserve each other and actually each have what the other needs when it comes to fashion. Kim Kardashian is commercial while Kanye is haute couture but what they have in common is that they both do come off as cheap. Despite this, Kim (and the Kardashian clan) is technically the more successful one in the relationship when it comes to fashion. Kanye, on the other hand, has been dropping high fashion brand names into his songs and has shown at Paris Fashion Week, but he hasn’t been able to live up to the hype.

West has received less than stellar reviews from the fashion elite, but perhaps he’s just finding his fashion legs. If only he can draw upon the more commercially successful Kim for there to be hope for his future in fashion. As for the Kim, she needs to remember that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’ll be highly unlikely for Kim to be welcomed with open arms in the world of high fashion, so she should just stay in the world of reality tv and commercial clothing.

Verdict: Knock-off Fashion Line- Despite their best efforts, these two might just stay outsiders in the world of high fashion. Even though Kanye West is more fashion forward,  his union with Kim doesn’t elevate him to the levels of haute couture. Making these two just a pair of wannabes.

So who are your favourite celebrity fashion lines? Did we miss any? And who would you like to see start a fashion line? Let us know!

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