Celebrity Designers – Friend Or Foe?

24 Nov 2011
By Ahlanlive.com

Do celebs deserve the credit of designer? Ahlan! looks at the best and worst celeb fashion labels

Celebrity fashion lines are becoming as much of an essential as celeb fragrances. Everyone’s been at it, from Victoria Beckham to Kanye West to Selena Gomez, and some are more talented than others. Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber are the most recent celebs rumoured to be launching their own fashion labels. Gaga reveals, “I might do something but I just really respect so many designers. I might do it one day but I would have to take a break from music so I could concentrate on it.” Celebrity labels have been accused of taking the invention out of fashion. Hundreds of designers struggle for decades to gain recognition for their creations but celebrities have an instant ‘in’. The question is, do they deserve it?

Every now and then Hollywood gives us a style icon that changes fashion for the better. The uber cool Olsen twins, Mary-Kate and Ashley, are famous for their effortless boho-chic style, so when they turned to designing we were excited. And they did not disappoint, creating two fantastic fashion labels, THE ROW, a luxury apparel and accessories brand focusing on modernising classics designs, and Elizabeth and James, named after their siblings, an equally creative label which expands into tailoring and incorporates more of their trademark bohemian vibes.

Also top of our list of the world’s best celebrity designers is Victoria Beckham. Her personal style screams sophistication and class, and although her own label, named after herself, can play it safe at times, the cuts and silhouettes are fantastic, and her modern take on the trench coat really wowed the fashion elite this season.

Some fashion savvy celebs have teamed up with fashion houses to ease them into the industry. The best collections are Nicole Richie for House of Harlow and Gwen Stefani for L.A.M.B, whose collections actually reflect the women’s distinct personalities and unique styles.

But it’s not only the women who are taking to the sewing machine, Kanye West has launched his own line Dw, named after his mother Donda. The highly anticipated collection previewed at Paris Fashion Week and focused predominantly on coats, with fur and leather dominating most garments. Most agreed that for a first collection, Kanye showed promise and creativity.

However it’s not claps all round, as some celebrities try to jump the gun make a name for themselves in the fashion industry before they earn it. A key example of this fashion faux pas is Kardashian Kollection, created by, you guessed it – the Kardashian sisters. The collection brings nothing new to the catwalk, consisting of overly-short blinged-out party dresses covered in sequins and animal print. You wouldn’t see Victoria Beckham stepping out in a Kardashian Kollection dress, that’s for sure.

Another thing B list celebs do is team up with a high street chain to create a line which will be sold exclusively at that store. These usually flop, resulting in the demise of the celebrity’s fashion credibility. Prime examples are Fearne Cotton for www.very.co.uk, Emma Bunton for Argos Kids’ and even worse – Selena Gomez for K-Mart.

In England, Fearne was a respected fashionista, but the collection for Very is just dull, showcasing none of her trademark quirky indie-rocker style. Emma’s Argos Kids’ campaign is just cheesy, from the designs (who puts four year olds in electric blue jeans?), to the fact that her son is the model for the shoot. But the biggest failure was Selena Gomez for K-Mart, a cheap-looking, childish collection for young teens. It is obvious Selena had very little to do with the production process. The only celeb-for-high street collaboration that was successful was Kate Moss for Topshop, although the charm has worn off from this label too recently.

The moral of the story? Stick to what you know. As an international stylista already Lady Gaga’s collection, should she make it, will probably be a success, but Justin Bieber? Just no.