After sitting down with Jennifer Lopez back in January 2007, I was optimistic that after several years of ups and downs, this time she was going to make it in the apparel business.
At the time, she was introducing justsweet, a young contemporary replacement line for her JLO by Jennifer Lopez brand, which was being pulled from the U.S. market to, the company said, focus on global expansion. The samples were well done and Macy's buyers were psyched about launching it. And, after six years in business and with her JLO label, Lopez was finally completely involved in the design of her own line -- something she was consistently criticized for.
"Five years ago, I had a lot to learn about this business," she admitted in 2007. "And as I learned, I became more involved in the day-to-day. Now I am in the office all the time, and I have been since we did the fashion show [in February 2005]. I was there every single day, going over every tiny detail. As I got through the learning curve, I became more involved and will continue to be."
Well, that involvement didn't seem to help after all.
The singer-actress closed justsweet after only a few seasons at retail and instead promised to bring her "tried and true" JLO brand back to the U.S. by March of this year.
That never happened. And on Tuesday, after several more attempts at restructuring, her company said it was putting the Sweetface contemporary brand on hiatus -- meaning there would be no more apparel bearing Lopez's name.
While her fragrance business with Coty appears to be thriving (a seventh scent will launch later this year under the Glow umbrella) and the JLO brand continues to expand overseas (but with licensed partners), it seems the U.S. market is over Lopez's attempts at fashion. Perhaps it's because she just isn't quite as relatable to these young girls as she used to be -- now an almost 40-year-old married mother of twins with a waning music career, Lopez has admitted to being a homebody who attempts to stay out of the tabloids.
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Long gone are the days when the world couldn't get enough of her songs or her stormy romantic life as she moved from relationships with Diddy to Cris Judd to Ben Affleck. J.Lo has been succeeded by a string of other Hollywood bad girls, ranging from Lindsay Lohan (who has a hosiery line and wants to do fashion), Paris Hilton (who has a fragrance and clothing line), Britney Spears and others, while the likes of the Olsen twins are taken more seriously as fashion icons by teens and twentysomethings who are the core audience for celebrity fashion lines.
Now that she's settled down -- and has far fewer projects in the works (her last movies came out three years ago and her last albums in 2007) -- J.Lo's fan base has naturally wilted. And when it comes to being a celebrity with a fashion line, that's not a good thing.