The End of Celebrity Fashion?
Celebrity-backed fashion lines are taking major hits in the economy. Is the era of the generic fashion label from random celebrities over?
When I think of most celebrity clothing lines I instantly picture the racks of Ross, Marshalls, Nordstrom Rack, and Off Fifth. Now thanks to the recession I can think of Goodwill.
The Wall Street Journal has reported on the downturn in high-end fashion from celebrity-backed brands. According to the trade publication, Licensing Letter, U.S. sales of celebrity-licensed products fell to $2.9 billion last year after peaking in 2006 at $3.5 billion.
As you can imagine this has forced a number of celebrity clothing lines to close up shop. Recession Wire has a nice list of those stars that have passed and failed their test in the fashion industry. Among the notable losers include Jennifer Lopez, Eve, Snoop Dogg, Andre 3000, and Lauren Conrad. Those that have faired better include lines from Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen, Jessica Simpson, and Lindsay Lohan.
I know what you’re wondering: Who actually wants to do anything like Lindsay Lohan in 2009? I asked myself that same question, but as it turns out, her high end leggings line is doing surprisingly well. To be fair to her leggings and coke were quite the 80s staples. So in other words, it’s that decade's fault.
As for those who've failed – namely the reality TV stars who suddenly envisioned themselves as Diane von Furstenberg – I believe Anna Wintour surmises my thoughts perfectly.
The infamous Vogue editor-in-chief told the Journal, “Every D-level celebrity who thought they could make a quick buck by designing a handbag or whatever is going to disappear. And I think that's a good thing."
This means you, Dina Lohan, the latest “star” to sign a deal to start her own shoe line. I’d rather see her throw on shoes to walk her daughter to rehab anyway.
A-listers like Justin Timberlake, who hasn’t yet met expectations for his William Rast line but is determined to persevere, is trying to shift focus on the line away from his celebrity. But is it too late?
A lot of these lines are nothing more than rip-offs of existing designers’ style with higher prices. While I’m certain there are still ways for celebrities to use their star power for commerce (perfume line anyone?) are clothing lines still the answer?
Are any of you still shaking your derriere in your Dereons?