Fashion Food 4 Thought: How long will Celebrity Clothing Lines be in Style?
Musician into Mogul
Fashion Food 4 Thought (Pt. 1): How long will Musician/ Celebrity Clothing Lines be in style?
It is not a new trend for a musician to have their own clothing line. It is has become the go to for artists to generate revenue and expand them as a brand; quickly turning musicians into moguls. Cha-ching Cha-ching!! But how long will artist clothing lines continue to stay in style? Is it just a fad, eventually to fade away? And if it does fade away will it return in a few seasons like most fashion cycles? Or are they fashion staples like the LBD or a white collared shirt?
Fashion Food 4 Thought (Pt. 2): Have Musician/Celebrity Clothing Lines finally been accepted into Fashion’s highly exclusive clique?
Jessica Simpson would probably say that musician clothing lines are here to stay. Her affordable line of shoes and handbags has made her the fashion industry’s billion dollar baby. But not everyone would share her same opinion.
In the beginning, similar to the way the acting community expressed their opinion on musicians taking roles away from qualified actors, the fashion industry did the same. Many designers took offense and felt that they are disrespecting the craft of design. Designers saw musicians as infiltrators diluting the art by making it about popularity and celebrity as opposed to actual skill. A hit on the radio does not qualify you to be a designer.
The fashion industry turned their nose up to the designing musicians and decided they were not credible clothing lines. It was not a good look as a designer to have an artist line on your resume. You were looked at as a traitor — deemed a designer with no loyalty to the community or a loose one who will give their artistry to the first taker. As a result to the distaste for artist lines, they were not easily welcomed into the elite cliques in clothing. They had to fight be included in major fashion publications and slighted during fashion week. Still to this day, very few artist brands have a spot under the tents at Lincoln Center. By giving celebrity clothing lines the cold shoulder, the fashion industry was for sure that the nonsense would end.
Musicians decided to throw on a winter coat and ignore their ice grills and shade. They continued with their collections and are now venturing into other realms of the beauty industry such as hair and developing make-up lines. Even further; creating beverages, opening restaurants and whatever their hearts and big bank accounts desire. Artists are about their businesses and have shown that they are not just one trick ponies only made for the stage. They can be successful business men and women as well.
I felt the same way at first. After graduating college and spending four years of my life training to be a designer; I was having a hard time getting a job as one. I interned for over two years not only struggling to get into the industry, but also to maintain a life in New York City. Meanwhile, popular musicians owned clothing lines before I could even work for one. I look back at it now and view it as plain old-FASHIONED jealousy. Everyone has a different journey in life. Some people get to different destinations quicker or easier than others. No need to hate.
My mind quickly changed when I was hired by one. After all of the years of closed doors; finally a door opened at Rocawear (A clothing line created by rapper Jay-Z). I then viewed it as an avenue to create jobs for urban professionals who were also sometimes discriminated against in the fashion industry at that time and a way to gain the job experience necessary for me to begin my career. I had found my niche. I had a passion for fashion and a love for music. It made perfect sense for me to design for an artist brand.
I was also inspired by Anya Ayoung-Chee of Project Runway Season 9. She was a former beauty queen who learned how to sew just four months before entering into the competition and won the whole thing!!! That just proves that talent is talent and creativity is creativity. Some were not afforded the opportunity to be properly trained, but were given the gift.
I believe the musicians who have truly expressed their heart for fashion through their musical artistry are the ones who usually have sustainable success. Examples like P. Diddy making style statements with his shiny suits (Sean John), Victoria Beckham formerly known as Posh Spice (VB) and the forever cool and stylish Gwen Stefani (L.A.M.B). They all have an innate ability to be forward with their fashion and a personal style that is often imitated, but never duplicated. It seems like almost a natural transition for these artists to add the title of Designer to their name.