You’ve got to love today’s teen idols. They sing. They dance. They act. And they design clothes. They might not have two years of fashion school under their belts, but their legions of fans represent sizable buying power, so it’s inevitable that these celebrities would lend their names to a label. However, even the most popular teen idols don’t necessarily find success with their namesake brands. As with any fashion line, it takes a well-designed, marketable product to be a success. Let’s take a look at ten of the most notable celebrity fashion lines by teen idols, some that have become wildly successful, and some that have fizzled.
Avril Lavigne. Lavigne’s “Abbey Dawn” clothing line for Kohl’s is one of the retailer’s best-selling brands. Her signature pieces include skinny jeans, hoodies, and graphic tees. She even collaborated with Disney for an “Alice in Wonderland” inspired collection, demonstrating the strength of the Abbey Dawn line. One reason the singer’s line is so successful is because she has always been known for her offbeat fashion as much as she has for her music.
Gwen Stefani. Unlike most celebrities who launch fashion labels, Stefani actually has roots in fashion design. She comes from a long line of seamstresses, and she created most of the outfits she wore on stage as No Doubt’s lead singer. It’s no wonder that with this expertise, her “L.A.M.B.” line has become one of the most critically respected and financially successful celebrity brands in history, with sales of more than $90 million a year.
Miley Cyrus. She’s already conquered the worlds of television, movies, and music, so the teen idol is out to rock the fashion design world as well. She’s teamed with Max Azria of BCBG for the “Miley and Max” line for Walmart, a mix of boho chic and English rocker looks.
Justin Timberlake. Just as Timberlake transcended boy band teen idol status to become a global superstar, his clothing label “William Rast” has gone beyond being only a celebrity line of denim. It is now a high-end lifestyle brand encompassing leather jackets, outerwear, and tops for both men and women. The brand has become so successful, William Rast flagship stores have opened in Los Angeles and Santa Clara, California. Perhaps one reason William Rast has succeeded is that Timberlake hired actual fashion designers to develop the collection.
Lindsay Lohan. A stint as Artistic Advisor for Emanuel Ungaro resulted in a critically panned collection. Although she has parted ways with Ungaro, she continues with her own “6126” line. Originally just a line of leggings, 6126 now features dresses and bodysuits inspired by Marilyn Monroe.
Taylor Swift. The multi Grammy-winning teen queen partnered with clothing label LEI to create a line of $14 sundresses that were sold exclusively at Walmart. After one season, the line was no longer available at the store.
Mandy Moore. The once tween pop star and actress branched into fashion with her line “Mblem,” a brand of contemporary knitwear and cashmere that sold in high-end boutiques and department stores. After three years, she pulled the plug on the line, saying she would get back into fashion when she found a partnership that reflected her ideas, which was not happening with Mblem.
Hilary Duff. The “Lizzy McGuire” star’s first foray into fashion was her clothing line “Stuff by Hilary Duff,” which was sold through Target. The company soon expanded its business to include furniture, fragrance and jewelry, but Duff eventually discontinued the line when she felt she did not have full creative control anymore. She then launched “Femme for DKNY” in a partnership with Donna Karan, which sold very well.
Lauren Conrad. After attending fashion college at FIDM and interning at Teen Vogue. the reality TV star developed “The Lauren Conrad Collection,” which was carried at trendy boutiques like Kitson. Because of lackluster sales, however, the line was discontinued. Undaunted, she is now in Kohl’s stores with the affordably priced “LC Lauren Conrad” line.
Ashley & Mary-Kate Olsen. The ultimate celebrity entrepreneurs, the Olsen Twins became fashion icons with their boho chic style, and are all over the fashion design landscape with several labels targeted to different markets. Besides a clothing line for Walmart, they’ve launched a couture label called “The Row,” as well as a contemporary line called “Elizabeth and James,” named after their siblings.
Teen idols come and go, and so do their fashion labels. But it looks like the trend of celebrity fashion designers are here to stay.