There is not a year that goes by without the news of a Hollywood celebrity launching a new fashion line. In 2013, Rihanna, Nikki Minaj, Eva Mendes and Kanye West announced the launch of their clothing lines, just to name a few. Rihanna’s collection, Rihanna for River Island, debuted during London Fashion Week and obtained fairly low reviews. She was later accused of only being the face of the brand, reportedly only exchanging e-mails with the designer and attending a few fittings. Kanye West has already suffered one loss, with the failure of his G.O.O.D. Music clothing line, but that has not deterred him from rebounding and vowing to try again in 2014. He has decided to sell his current clothing line items online and continue with plans to launch a new collection of menswear.
While some stars suffer fashion venture setbacks, others are able to use the business opportunity to generate a sizeable income. A few have even had the right combination of talent and business savvy to turn their collections into formidable fashion brands and become well-respected in the fashion industry. Celebrity fashions and fragrances are now available in nearly every major U.S. store, including drug stores. With low and high-end products that are geared towards multiple demographics, you are likely to find something that you like in your price range. This trend seems to be increasing as retailers are banking on star power to translate into hardcore sales. Stores follow supply and demand, proving that consumers are buying into celebrity brands. Here is a rundown of celebrities that have made millions from their fashion lines.
Nicole Richie – $3 Million
In 2007, the reality television star and daughter of singer, Lionel Richie launched House of Harlow 1960. In 2009, the jewelry line was expanded to include handbags, shoes and sunglasses, with items priced from $38 to $595. The line is sold at Kitson’s online boutique. In 2009, Nicole also designed a collection of maternity clothes for a Pea and the Pod. In 2010, she debuted her ready-to-wear clothing collection, Winter Kate. The same year, she received Glamour Magazines ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award’ for House of Harlow 1960. Additionally, She launched a collection for Macy’s, ‘Impulse’ and her first fragrance in 2012. Though the sales earnings for her fashion brands are not publicized, the stars net worth reportedly increased by $3 million after they launched.
Victoria Beckham – $95 Million
Former Spice Girl turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at the 2011 British Fashion Awards. She designs everything from satin gowns to H&M bodywear. The Victoria Beckham Collection offers handbags and dresses from $500 to $5,000 and she has grossed over $95 million. The brand reportedly earned £1.5 million ($2.5 million) in 2103. Beckham was a guest editor for French Vogue in 2013 and seems to have transcended her pop star image to become a serious contender in the fashion world. During the 2014 NY Fashion Week, the star announced she was going to expand into footwear and hopes to eventually launch a men’s clothing line.
Sean Combs – $100 Million
Hip-hop mogul Sean Combs has maintained great success from his clothing and fragrance line, launched in 1998. Sean John Clothing, Inc. started as a signature sportswear collection, earning Combs recognition in the fashion world. Combs won the CFDA Men’s Designer of the Year Award in 2004. Revenues reportedly hit $250 million in 2004 and now exceed over $100 million annually. The urban fashion brand has items ranging from $100 to $400 and could be purchased in stores such as Sears and Macy’s. Combs invested in the Zac Posen label in 2004 and bought Enyce in 2008.
Gwen Stefani – $200 Million
No Doubt singer, Gwen Stefani is launching her 3rd clothing line this spring. The pregnant star joined forces with Michael Glasser to create a jean line, Design With Purpose (DWP). Her first line, L.A.M.B. was launched in 2003 and no longer shows new collections. The L.A.M.B. collection included clothes, shoes, handbags, watches and fragrances and was grossing an estimated $90 million dollars in annual revenue by 2010. The Asian and South American-inspired label has items listed from $55 to $995. Stefani’s lower-end Japanese inspired line, Harajuku Lovers, was launched in 2005 and carries clothing, fashion accessories, fragrances and stationary. Combined earnings for both lines were reportedly $200 million in 2009. The singer’s latest collection, DWP, will offer eco-friendly clothing with prices ranging from $80 to $130. It is set to hit stores by spring and projected to earn $5 million to $8 million in sales this year.
Jay-Z – $700 Million
Hip-hop mogul Jay Z launched Rocawear in 1999. The affordable urban lifestyle brand has since grown to become very popular. The collection includes clothing, handbags and accessories. Rocawear generates approximately over $700 million in annual sales. Jay Z oversees production, but he sold the rights to the company in 2007 for $204 million. In 2009, the brand partnered with Pharrell Williams clothing label, Billionaire Boys club, and was grossing nearly $500 million by 2012. Items can be purchased in Macy’s, and sell for $20 to $130 dollars.
Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen – $1 Billion
Former childhood stars Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have 3 fashion brands: Olsenboye, for juniors; Elizabeth and James, a mid-market contemporary brand; and The Row, a high-end collection. Their fashion empire is reportedly worth over $1 billion. The Olsen’s are not just the face of the brands; they are also the head designers. In 2011, the Council of Fashion Designers of America recognized them, and in 2012 they won the Women’s ‘Designer of the Year’ Award. Their collections can be found in JC Penny, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Items range from $10 to $39k depending on the collection.
Jessica Simpson – $1 Billion
She’s come a long way from filming tuna commercials and being dropped from her recording label for low record sales. Singer Jessica Simpson has used her business assets to amass a fortune since launching, The Jessica Simpson Collection in 2006. Described as an American Lifestyle Brand, Simpson’s billion-dollar line began as a shoe collection with Nine-West co-founder, Victor Camuto. It now includes fashionable clothing, swimwear, intimates, accessories, shoes and handbags for women. It was recently expanded to include maternity wear, baby clothes and children’s wear. The affordably fashionable collection is carried in Macy’s, Dillard’s, Belk, Nordstrom and Lord & Taylor. Items are priced from under $100 to $300. The line made $750k in revenue in 2010 and was projected to earn $1 billion in sales by 2012. Sales reportedly doubled in 2013.
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