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Many celebrities are taking a bite out of consumer industries by plastering their names on virtually everything from sneakers, to clothes, to fragrances, to jewelry, raising their star power even higher.
Athletes, singers, models and actors are all creating their own lines of various products and they are using their fame to promote and sell them.
Many athletes promote sportswear, with the most active area being shoes. Popular brands such as Nike and Adidas have given top athletes their own collections.
Basketball stars Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan and LeBron James each have their own line of athletic shoes and apparel for Nike.
Superstar soccer player David Beckham has his own collection for Adidas consisting of shin guards, cleats and jerseys.
Tennis player Andre Agassi has a collection for Adidas as well.
Singers are also venturing out and using their artistic creativity and style to create their own lines of clothing.
Pop singer Justin Timberlake came out with his own clothing line, William Rast, which includes jeans, t-shirts and accessories.
According to the clothing line’s Web site, Timberlake and his best friend Trace Ayala teamed up to create the line.
The site says that Timberlake and Ayala work together as they “design the threads to match and deliver a brand that infuses the soul of authentic southern heritage with the energy of contemporary Hollywood.”
A video of his fashion show, titled “street sexy,” is displayed on the site. In the video Timberlake says, “it’s not the clothes, but the way you wear them. Sexy is a state of mind. It’s about that attitude.”
The William Rast collection is being sold all over the Internet and at various stores including Nordstrom.
Another pop singer, Jennifer Lopez, has taken her name to a new level with her own fashion company, “Sweet Face,” which she formed in 2001.
She has launched many collections, including a recent line called “Just Sweet,” which carries clothing, shoes and accessories.
Helen Callahan, a junior sociology major, said she believes that celebrities are huge icons and that they have the ability to create their own lines and make them successful because they are huge in our culture.
“I think so many celebrities have been successful in making their own lines because in the past 20 years, they have become something people want to read about and know about,” Callahan said. “This makes them able to get offers from companies and produce products under their names.”
According to fashionwindows.com, within a year of the launch of Lopez’s line, the company collaborated with many groups to create JLO girls, JLO swim and Glow by JLO, the extremely successful women’s fragrance.
Attaching a smell to their name is another popular route for celebrities. The perfume and cologne products are being dominated by celebrity brands.
On the Web site for Macy’s, there are numerous celebrity fragrances available.
Katharyn Jankovsky, a senior history major, said she thinks celebrities are using their fame to get in the door, and their products, such as perfume, are no better than any others.
“It (the perfume) depends individually how they smell not who makes it,” Jankovsky said.
“It doesn’t seem like the clothes or perfume would be any better because they’re famous,” Jankovsky said. “I think they are taking advantage of already being famous.”
Celebrity fragrances include JLO’s “Glow,” Hillary Duff’s “Wrapped with Love,” Gwen Stefani’s “L” by her collection L.A.M.B, and others by celebrities like Mariah Carey, Sean “P.Diddy” Combs, Sarah Jessica Parker, Usher, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton.
Megan Fleming, a senior sociology major, said she does not think celebrity lines enticing.
“I don’t find it appealing,” Fleming said. “The ones that come to mind are Paris Hilton and Britney Spears, and those are people I don’t find attractive, and I wouldn’t personally buy (their products),” Fleming said.
“They are not role models and I wouldn’t want to buy their perfumes,” Fleming said.
Callahan said she believes that celebrity products are successful because people want to be like these stars.
“People want to look like them and smell like them, and if they’re marketing them, people are convinced that they will be wearing what the celebrities wear and be like them – for example Paris Hilton,” Callahan said.
Young Hollywood’s celebrity moguls Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen also have their own fragrances as well as their own company, Dualstar Entertainment.
The two have been in Hollywood since they were babies, and have used their long-time fame to launch a line of clothes, shoes, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, and calendars targeted at teens.
Callahan said she believes that celebrity gossip magazines and the high exposure that comes with them helps celebrities sell their products.
“Since tabloids have become so popular, they’re so much more capable to market their products because they can show off their product or wear their clothing when pictures are taken of them,” Callahan said.
The twins made it onto Forbes 20 Under 25, a list of top-earning young superstars, which looked at their earnings from June 2006 to June 2007. According to Forbes.com, the twins have made $17 million dollars apiece, largely from their teen merchandise empire, Dualstar.
Another huge star, Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, a rapper and actor who is also a producer at his own record label, “Bad Boy Entertainment,” has his own product line called “Sean John.”
According to the line’s Web site, Combs created the line to “fill a void in the market for well-made, sophisticated fashion forward clothing that also reflected an urban sensibility and style.”
Combs talks about his line on the site, saying that he wants to go above and beyond for his customers.
“We are not in the clothing business for a quick hit,” Combs said on the site. “We are truly committed to the expansion and growth of the men’s marketplace and will use all of our resources to ensure that quality in both design and production of Sean John always exceeds your expectation,” said Combs. “We would ultimately like to have Sean John viewed as the Future of Fashion.”
Combs started the line in 1998 and has expanded it into separate categories, including Sean John, Bad Boy Sportswear, Sean John Tailored and Sean John accessories.
The line has suits, outerwear, accessories, shirts, ties, hats and denim and is made for boys and men ranging from 12 to 45 years old.
The clothing is available in department stores, specialty stores, and Combs’ store, called Sean John boutique, which opened on Fifth Avenue in New York in September 2004.
Combs is just another one of the celebrities that are branding themselves everywhere, with their products being sold right next to every other top designer in the business.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Melanie Cohn at Melanie.Cohn@colorado.edu.