With the launch of Madonna’s new range of Aldo shoes and the news that perpetually half-dressed R&B singer Rihanna is to design a collection of clothes next spring for River Island, it is worth remembering that not all celebrities who dip their hand into fashion come out on top. Whilst many celebrities have contributed their name and time to designing clothes or shoes for charitable causes, Kim Kardashian’s SchoeDazzle being amongst such programs, more often than not the lines are launched purely for vanity purposes; something that is reflected by the poor commercial return on these projects.
Natalie Portman’s Vegan Shoes
Natalie Portman, the multi-lingual Harvard graduate and Oscar winning actress, had one of the most spectacular failures in this field when, in 2008, she turned her hand towards promoting Vegan shoes. The footwear, which featured canvas instead of leather, were sold for over $200 per pair and, as such, were hardly likely to become a staple of the high street or an alternative to high end and established designer shoes. Te Casan, the company who teamed up with the Garden State actress for this project, ended up a victim of the recession within a year of Portman’s shoe launch which signalled an end to the star’s attempt at imposing herself on the fashion world.
Fetish by Eve
Eve, the musician and actress, launched her own fashion range in 2003 which, despite lasting much longer than Portman’s range was not much more of a success. The line, named Fetish, was re-launched and re-vamped three times in its first five years but the high price of its clothes, between $150-$1500 for various items, did not manage to attract many buyers and ultimately the line folded.
At the height of reality show “The Hills” popularity, Heidi Montag launched her own range of affordable clothes inventively named Heidiwood. The price tags, between $10 and $60 per item of clothing, could have been a clever bit of marketing so as to avoid the same mistakes made by previous celebrities who priced their target audience out of the market. The reason the items could be sold so cheaply, however, is the fact that they were rather, well, cheap. Reviewers stated that none of the ranges items, bar one pair of jeans, went past the upper thigh and many were made from cheap cotton. The critical backlash translated into sales figures.
…and one who made it (somehow)!
The closest there has been to a successful crossover has been, surprisingly enough, a former Spice Girl. Victoria Beckham turned to design after all other career avenues open to her, acting and singing, were closed due to her inability to convince the public she was talented in either of these fields. Based mainly on the fact she wore the most expensive clothes in a girl group, Beckham has managed to succeed in establishing her clothing line by convincing others that her lack of background in fashion or design, something which critics state is noticeable when studying her designs, was not a problem.