In the age of social media, celebrities define fashion trends. Some have successfully parlayed their celebrity status and personal tastes into profitable fashion lines. This has been buoyed by the rise of customization as a consumer obsession. Personalized t-shirts, such as family reunion tees, are extremely popular right and many celebrities are using this trend as a creative branding opportunity. These celebrities capitalize on their popularity to create a brand around themselves to peddle an assortment of clothes, shoes, accessories and fragrances.
Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen
The Olsen twins were breakout stars of the 1980s series “Full House,” where they alternated as the young child Michelle Tanner. They have played various roles in movies and on television through the years, practically growing up in front of an audience.
Not surprisingly, Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen have successfully transitioned from millionaire child stars to multi-millionaire fashion moguls. The twins are the brains behind Dualstar Entertainment Group, the company that handles the development and retailing of several lines including WalMarts’s Mary Kate and Ashley line of clothes for girls ages 4 to 14.
Other Olsen fashion lines span high-end fashion in the collection called The Row, to vintage finds in the Elizabeth and James collection and Olsenboye for J.C. Penney. Taking basic t-shirts similar to customized brands and their stylistic touches, the Olsens created the StyleMint t-shirt line validating their rise to the top of the fashion heap with a combined net worth exceeding $300 million.
Mary Kate is also credited for starting the bohemian-bourgeois trend in clothing, hair and makeup.
Erstwhile singer and performer, Jessica Simpson built a reputation as a sultry girl-next-door with a few assets up her sleeves. Aside from, singing, dancing and acting , Simpson is also the designer of the Jessica Simpson Collection. This is a full-service fashion line that includes apparel, handbags, fragrances and a bestselling shoe collection.
Simpson’s fashion successes and faux pas have been chronicled by the media but have not detracted from her market-savvy promotions. At the prime of her career, Simpson could wear basic family reunion tees with her iconic Daisy Dukes micro shorts and still give supermodels a run for the money. She popularized Daisy Dukes while filming the movie, “Dukes of Hazzard.”
Simpson’s success as a fashion designer may not be as meteoric as the Olsen twins, but she remains among the most-photographed women of her generation.
Former “Charlie’s Angel” Jaclyn Smith is the godmother of celebrity branding. Hers is the fashion line that started celebrity-backed brand development. Aside from being one of the most-recognized faces of her time, Smith is an astute businesswoman, having wagered on retail discounter Kmart to bring her fashion line to market.
The Jaclyn Smith Collection topped the list of most-recognized brands according to Women’s Wear Daily. Smith has since expanded the line to include home goods putting her net worth at about $75 million.
These celebrities have shown that opportunities abound for those who can turn their ten minutes of fame into a successful brand.