Doesn’t it seem like more celebrities than ever are trying to cross over into the fashion world? They’ve already racked up a ton of job titles (actor, director, singer, model), so why not add “fashion designer” to the mix?
Of course, these celebs spend a ton of time around fashion and stylists. They’re constantly walking the red carpet or visiting swanky restaurants, so they almost always have to look good. Inevitably, some of them decide to try their hand at designing a few things, but some wind up more successful than others.
Plenty of celebrities will collaborate with an existing brand. They get the recognition and payout, without having to deal with a lot of the other, more taxing tasks that go into being a successful name in the fashion biz.
However, some dive right in and choose to be very hands-on. While not every star is cut out for it, some celebrities have created coveted fashion empires. Check out these celebs that started their own lines, and have seen plenty of success in the process.
Victoria Beckham rose to prominence as a pop star, as the sleek Posh Spice in the iconic girl group the Spice Girls. But now, the fashionista formerly known as Posh Spice is probably better known as a posh fashion designer. Her Victoria Beckham line features luxury ready-to-wear pieces, leather goods, eyewear, and footwear collections. Mrs. Beckham’s designs have been worn by numerous A-list celebrities, and she is a regular fixture at New York Fashion Week.
In addition to her designer label, she has a partnership with Reebok for “elevated yet functional” activewear. A few years back, she also collaborated with Target for a more affordable line. That collaboration was also her first foray into children’s clothing.
Rihanna is on top of the world. She’s sold more than 250 million records, making her the second-best-selling female music artist of all time! She may be an international pop superstar who just blew fans away performing at the Super Bowl halftime show, but Rihanna does so much more.
Following the successful launch of her Fenty Beauty line, Rihanna decided to enter the fashion world, too. She already has prior fashion industry experience as the creative director of Puma, as well as having created a lingerie line, so it’s no surprise that the Fenty label is making waves. In fact, Rihanna’s Fenty lingerie show is available on Amazon Prime. That is what I call a success.
Jessica Simpson became an internationally successful pop star after signing with Columbia Records at the age of seventeen. Of course, we all remember her unforgettable “Chicken of the Sea” reality show moment, too, and she made her acting debut as Daisy Duke in The Dukes of Hazzard.
But after all that, the Texas native decided she could do much more. She launched The Jessica Simpson Collection in 2005, and her line has more than thirty product categories. Simpson’s collection includes clothing, accessories, shoes, perfume, luggage, and a bridal shop. The brand has earned over $1 billion in revenue to date, making it the most successful celebrity licensing brand in history!
Actress Drew Barrymore was born into a famous family of actors, so it’s no surprise that she started her acting career at the ripe age of eleven months. Although she had some troubled times during her teens, she continued acting and eventually became one of the most famous faces in Hollywood. On top of acting, Barrymore is an author, a director, and even hosts her own talk show.
Since she clearly doesn’t have enough going on, Barrymore also has her own line on Amazon called Dear Drew. It includes clothing, accessories, luggage, handbags, and hair tools.
Is there anything that Reese Witherspoon can’t do? This actress is already an A-list Hollywood celeb who runs her own production company. But in 2015, she also launched her fashion line. The name, Draper James, is a nod to her grandparents, Dorothea Draper, and William James Witherspoon. She wanted to celebrate everything she loved about her grandparents and growing up in the South.
The clothing line is rooted in Witherspoon’s Southern upbringing, boasting a classic American style steeped in charm and femininity. Items like gingham dresses, flouncy skirts, and statement colors make up a large portion of her line. It’s a mix of contemporary and timeless southern style.
If you check out the website for the Gen Z streetwear brand Drew House, you won’t find any mention of Justin Bieber. However, the Biebs co-founded the brand with his road manager-turned-stylist (and unofficial “swagger coach”) Ryan Good. Drew is Bieber’s middle name.
The unisex streetwear is playful and durable, coming in bright and funky colorways. Items are often adorned with the brand’s smiley face logo, in which “Drew” replaces the mouth. Expect a lot of hoodies, loose tees, and sweatpants.
Technically speaking, Kim Kardashian is just famous for being famous. No matter how she got there, though, she has hustled to stay on top ever since her name first started popping up in the tabloids. Paris Hilton’s former stylist is now the queen of reality TV and has a serious online presence across numerous social media platforms.
After the successful launches of KKW Beauty and KKW Fragrance, Kim K jumped into fashion with the shapewear and clothing company Skims. Launched in 2019, it’s now valued at over $3.2 billion. The brand focuses on body positivity and inclusivity, providing style, comfort, and support to just about anyone.
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Actress Sarah Jessica Parker is an award-winning actress and producer, having picked up two Primetime Emmy Awards and six Golden Globe Awards over the years. She’s most well-known for her role in Sex and the City, but she’ll always be Sarah Sanderson in Hocus Pocus to me!
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Parker shares at least a few interests with her fictional Sex and the City character Carrie Bradshaw. One of them is her affinity for chic shoes. That’s probably why she launched her own shoe line, SJP Collection. Parker often wears SJP Collection shoes herself, but she’s not the only one. The line has picked up a pretty loyal customer base that enjoys the well-made footwear, too.
Remember when these two were hugely successful child actors? Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are no longer actors, but they are fashion designers. In fact, they debuted their line, The Row, in 2006. It features timeless luxury ready-to-wear clothing, handbags, and accessories. It’s not cheap, but you can expect impeccable details and exceptional fabrics.
The line was so successful that they were awarded Womenswear Designer of the Year at the prestigious CFDAs in 2012. Along with The Row, the Olsen twins founded Elizabeth and James, a more affordable clothing line aimed at a younger demographic.
Gwyneth Paltrow is a very successful actress, first gaining notoriety in the ‘90s. It kind of runs in the family, considering she’s the daughter of actress Blythe Danner and film producer and director Bruce Paltrow. And although she’s won various accolades over the years, being an award-winning actress just wasn’t enough.
She is the founder and CEO of the wellness and lifestyle company Goop, which has been widely criticized for promoting new-age pseudoscience. The lifestyle brand eventually expanded to include collabs with products, a “wellness summit,” a Netflix docuseries, and a print magazine. Of course, none of that would be complete without her own apparel collection called Goop Label, right?
Pharrell Williams is one of the most influential and successful music producers of the 21st century. In other words, he’s had a huge impact on modern popular music. He’s also racked up plenty of accolades to back that up. Can anyone get the song “Happy” out of their heads?
Pharrell has also always been one of the best-dressed artists and producers in the business, so it makes sense that he ventured into fashion. He’s had plenty of collabs over the years; he released a collection for Uniqlo, has collaborated with apparel brands like Chanel and Adidas, and even started designing a line of items for Tiffany & Co. He partnered with Japanese fashion icon Nigo to create Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear.
But now, Pharrell has been appointed Louis Vuitton’s new men’s creative director. That’s a pretty big deal!
Adopted by Lionel Richie, Nicole Richie was brought up around plenty of famous folks. She became known by the masses when she starred in the reality show The Simple Life alongside childhood friend and fellow socialite Paris Hilton. But if there’s one thing these two always had in common, it was an interest in fashion.
After being the face of advertising campaigns for Bongo Jeans and Jimmy Choo, Richie decided to really jump into the fashion world with both feet. She founded House of Harlow 1960, which first began as a jewelry line. It has since expanded to include apparel, footwear, accessories, and limited-edition specialty items.