Duff, a singer and actress who rose to fame in the title role of television's "Lizzie McGuire," said the company will encompass clothing, accessories, health and beauty products and furniture and home decor. She will compete in the tween and fragrance categories against 19-year-old moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
In an exclusive interview with WWD, Duff said she also will take on the title of chief designer for her existing tween label, Stuff by Hilary Duff, as well as a new eponymous clothing line that will span the juniors and contemporary markets and sell in better department stores such as Macy's and Dillard's.
Duff thinks she can succeed partly because she has received so many inquiries from girls who want to know where she bought her clothes. The teen line will reflect the styles that she would wear.
While she hasn't figured out key pieces yet, Duff said she wants to offer "a great jean ... I want girls in middle America and everywhere to find really good clothes."
She already has signed a fragrance deal with Elizabeth Arden, making her the latest in a string of high-profilers — including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kimora Lee Simmons and Paris Hilton — looking to cash in on the beauty business.
The first piece of the Duff beauty oeuvre, a fragrance, is scheduled for a fall 2006 launch in prestige beauty doors in the U.S. The line will then be rolled out globally.
"We had our first creative meeting today," Duff said, adding that she's fond of fragrances such as Opium, Marc Jacobs Blush, Burberry Brit, Stella McCartney, Narciso Rodriguez and Child. "I wear different fragrances at different times of the day. In fact, when we met, I said, ‘I only get to do one first?' I have so many ideas, but I know what I like and what I don't."
Although terms of the deal were not disclosed, industry sources have speculated that such agreements often include an up-front payout of $1 million to $2 million, and 1 to 3 percent of fragrance sales after the scent is on the counter.