The Economy Takes Down Celebrity Fashion Lines

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Avril Lavigne, LL Cool J, and Amanda Bynes are not safe. Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, istockphoto

If designers who have been around for five years are struggling to survive in the economic downturn, it would only make sense for lines by even greener designers to plummet to their death. We're talking about celebrity lines, and that's exactly what's happening. Retailers are going under and taking celebrity lines with them. LL Cool J's line for Sears is reportedly "hanging by a thread," according to AdAge. It's too bad if you missed the launch of Ashley Judd's collection for Goody's back in 2007, because now that that chain's bankrupt, rights to her line are being auctioned. Steve and Barry's went under in late November, taking lines by Sarah Jessica Parker, Amanda Bynes, and Venus Williams with it. Parker is rumored to be shopping her line around, but hasn't found a retail partner yet.


Experts say more celebrity lines will fall by the wayside, especially since the market was oversaturated before the downturn. If celebrities want their lines to survive, they'll have to adapt to the economic climate. Daisy Fuentes has sold her clothing line at mid-tier Kohl's, but plans to launch eyewear at Wal-Mart. Gwen Stefani's new perfume has been a top-ten seller, but that's probably because the bottles are pretty small and not that expensive.

We're not sad to see these lines go, since they're seldom well-done and new ones pop up at the same rate men pass through Erin's apartment on The City. But we're not fooling ourselves — we're guessing new lines will surface just as quickly as old ones die out. (In eight days we've had Taylor Swift, Toby Keith, and Hilary Duff.) Because sadly, any celebrity audacious enough to call himself a designer and launch a line will probably think he's special enough to survive.

Recession-Ravaged Retailers Leave Celebrity Brands Stranded [AdAge]