It’s not enough to just be famous anymore. Every Lindsay, Paris, and Kardashian is trying to become a designer. And not every foray into couture is a success. Remember the travesty that was Lindsay Lohan‘s failed collaboration with Ungaro? Surprisingly, however, there are celebrity-driven lines that are making a name for themselves on the runway, and leaving an impression on consumers. Here are some of the best.
Love. Angel. Music. Baby. Those four words say a lot about singer Gwen Stefani‘s line. This label rocks, just like its creator, and after eight years, has established itself as a real fashion force. All of her pieces have a funky edge , like the leather and ponte knit dress featuring exposed leather shoulder pads, and her now iconic bags. The line’s Spring 2011 collection had a decidedly African flair and, as always, is great for dressing your inner rock star.
2. Elizabeth and James
Named after the Olsen’s other siblings, this line proves the twins do know fashion, even if some think they don’t always dress the part. Ashley and Mary-Kate have certainly grown up since those Full House days, creating ethereal garments and structured pants along with suit jackets– all insanely wearable! The Spring 2011 offering has a definitive youthful feel, focusing on those 20-somethings, or maybe early 30-somethings, who want to simultaneously look preppy and goth without really trying. The nautical high-waist Lucien trouser, the chic Duster Coat, and pink Chantal blouse with elongated button cuffs could all belong in one closet.
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3. William Rast
Back in October 2006, singer/actor Justin Timberlake and childhood friend Trace Ayala launched William Rast at LA Fashion Week. Although originally conceptualized as a denim-heavy heritage line, the label has morphed into a complete ready-to-wear brand serving both men and women. William Rast (the name’s a combination of the last names of the founders’ respective grandfathers) has become famous for reworking men’s tailoring to fit a feminine physique, all while maintaining a biker vibe. For Fall 2010, the guys mixed that tough edge with a Sherpa influence, perfect for riding out long winter months in tomboyish style.
4. House of Harlow 1960 & Winter Kate
Former reality television star turned designer Nicole Richie actually has managed to successfully roll out two lines, House of Harlow 1960 and Winter Kate. House of Harlow 1960, named after her first born, is a low-cost jewelry line that sold out almost immediately after its debut at Los Angeles boutique Kitson. Now it’s expanded to include shoes, hats, and handbags. For Winter Kate, Nicole showcases her bohemian sensibilities through pieces like the chiffon Maxi Halter Dress and the Ginger Burnout Velvet Cardigan.
5. Jessica Simpson
When it comes to shoes and handbags, singer Jessica Simpson is actually pretty smart. In fact, according to WWD, she is well on her way to becoming a $1 billion fashion powerhouse. Her accessories collection offers low-key options great for everyday wear, but also packs a serious embellished punch so you don’t feel too prim and proper. Macy’s carries a lot of the Simpson line, including suitcases, which are astonishingly chic.