Women’s Wear Daily
04.19.2014
retail-features
retail-features

Fashion Scouts New Talent

The craze for celebrity apparel deals has returned with a vengeance ¿ despite a track record filled with missteps and few lines that have had any success.

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The new crop would be joining the explosion of music and Hollywood stars who became designers several years ago — with mixed success. Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé Knowles and Gwen Stefani were among the first, but in no time, everyone from A- to Z-listers were turning themselves into clothing and beauty brands. Today, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have a multitier business, encompassing everything from sportswear to area rugs as part of their more than $1 billion empire; Justin Timberlake has a Southern-inspired contemporary sportswear line William Rast; Jessica Simpson has shoes, bags and outerwear; Pamela Anderson has lingerie; actress Jaime Pressly launched a line of contemporary sportswear; Hilary Duff has sportswear and accessories; Sarah Jessica Parker and Amanda Bynes both have deals with Steve & Barry's; Victoria Beckham and Sheryl Crow have denim lines; Sienna Miller has Twenty8Twelve by S. Miller, a contemporary collection, with her sister Savannah; Kate Moss has a Topshop line; "The Hills" star Lauren Conrad has contemporary sportswear; Heidi Montag, also from "The Hills," has a collection with California retail chain Anchor Blue called Heidiwood, and even celebutante and reality TV star Kim Kardashian has a collection in the works.

And it's not only the apparel sector where celebrities want in. Lopez, Celine Dion, the Beckhams, Moss, Stefani and, most recently, Halle Berry all signed deals with Coty Inc. for scents. Reese Witherspoon signed a fragrance deal with Avon and Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera, Timberlake, Sarah Jessica Parker, Usher and Sean "Diddy" Combs are only a few of the other famous names who have fragrance deals.

But for each success, there has been a celebrity brand that failed to take off — or that flared and then flickered rapidly. Jennifer Lopez' collection has gone through numerous iterations; Beyoncé's House of Deréon line had a slow start; Eve's Fetish collection never succeeded and Diddy's women's line never really got off the ground.

That doesn't keep companies from trying again and again, however.

Haim Dabah, founder of Regatta Pacific Alliance, which designs, sources and markets such apparel brands as Simply Vera Vera Wang and Daisy Fuentes for Kohl's, Metro 7 for Wal-Mart and Nicole Miller for J.C. Penney, as well as other private label collections for retailers, said he is in talks with some bold-faced names about doing collections.
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