Although celebrity-"designed" fashion labels are a dime a dozen these days, lines designed by celebrity couples are quite rare. In fact, when Kohl's announced their collaboration with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony last November, they billed it as "the first celebrity couple to simultaneously design collections for one retailer." (The only other major celebrity couple to have tried something similar is the Beckhams, whose marriage has long outlasted their now-defunct joint line, DVb.) One reason why many companies may have shied away from this concept is the very conundrum that Kohl's is facing right now: Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony announced their divorce on Friday, saddling Kohl's with an awkward marketing challenge that they're doing their utmost to sweep under the rug.
Kohl's is already trying to do damage control by aligning Lopez with the forthcoming line's women's offerings and Anthony with the men's. A spokesperson for the company stated this weekend:
The Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony brands have always been positioned as two separate, distinctive collections that offer high-quality contemporary style for men and women, and we look forward to a successful September launch.
It also turns out that Anthony and Lopez, perhaps anticipating their irreconcilable differences, signed separate contracts with the retailer, according to Rick Darling, president of Kohl's licensing company LF USA: “We have two separate agreements with Jennifer and Marc and always intended to have separate lines," he said. "[Their split] doesn’t impact the agreements in any way.”
While it's probably true that the Kohl's line itself won't be impacted (were you really expecting them to design it together themselves, anyway?), the marketing strategy will certainly take a hit. Then again, awkward public co-appearances could make for even more press than the line would get otherwise.