2008 saw more celebrities entering the fashion design playing field. Some celebrities with established design labels enjoyed continuing success. The popularity of Bravo’s fashion design reality show Project Runway has put some focus on struggling designers trying to break into the big time. In contrast, when celebrities enter the fashion field they leapfrog over hard working newcomers by cashing in on an established image and fan base.
Celebrities have the financial clout and name recognition to achieve almost instant success as designers, but they won’t stay in the game if they don’t deliver a product that fashionistas will love.
Here are some of the winners and losers in the celebrity designer game in 2008.
Best Celebrity Fashion Designer – Gwen Stefani: L.A.M.B.
As a rock-and-roller out of Orange County, California, Gwen’s one-of-a-kind fashion sense always put her in the role of trendsetter. Since launching her L.A.M.B. label (“Love Angel Music Baby”), Stefani’s look has evolved into a mix of retro and classically beautiful design. She stands out among other celebrity designers because her collection is an extension of her own style. Her eclectic take on design is unique.
Gwen’s Spring 2008 collection featured black and white with occasional touches of red and metallic. Designs included sophisticated dresses, bright carefree minidresses, and separates which reflect the schoolgirl and rocker influences.
Best Celebrity Fashion Designer – Kimora Lee Simmons: Fabulosity
Model and designer Kimora Lee Simmons has done well with her Baby Phat line of glamorous designs, which mix high fashion and urban hip-hop style. In 2008, she launched a new wallet-friendly line for Juniors called Fabulosity, available at JC Penney.
The Fabulosity sportswear line is based on the urban lifestyle and includes tees, sweaters, jeans, skirts and dresses, hoodies and jackets. Kudos to Kimora for making her fabulous designs accessible to a wider range of young women.
Worst Celebrity Fashion Designer – Lindsay Lohan: 6126
Being voted onto several worst-dressed lists in the last few years didn’t stop celebrity bad-girl Lindsay Lohan from introducing her fashion label in 2008. Her line of designer leggings is called 6126, after Marilyn Monroe’s birthday. Lindsay has named Marilyn as the ‘voice of this brand’. The 6126 collection includes footless tights, black and screen printed. Some of the leggings have zippers. The price range is $40 – $160. The look is definitely young – anyone who wore leggings when they were big in the 80s probably doesn’t want to be reminded of that fact. Whether enough young women are willing to plunk down over $100 for a pair of footless tights remains to be seen.
Worst Celebrity Fashion Designer – Lauren Conrad: Lauren Conrad Collection
Having gained fame from the “Laguna Beach” reality show, Lauren Conrad launched a line of clothing that offers nothing different from what’s already found in the Junior section of many department stores. Amazingly enough, she was chosen as the designer for the gown worn by the 2008 Emmy Awards ‘trophy girls’. Conrad was the first celebrity designer given this honor; the fact that she was chosen came as a shock to many in the industry. Within six months, amid rumors that Conrad didn’t actually come up with her designs, the line was dropped by several retailers. Time will tell whether Conrad has the staying power to stay afloat in the competitive world of fashion design.