News & Runway

Mischa Barton is Launching a Fashion Line – and She’s Got Competition

Misha BartonEvery time I want to make a snap judgment when a celebrity announces that he/she is branching out with a fashion line, I have to remind myself that just a few years ago I would’ve never expected to be desperately coveting nearly every dress with a Victoria Beckham stamp. Will it ever be in the cards for me to wear something with a Mischa Barton label? Seems unlikely, but you never know what the troubled star is brewing up.

Barton told UK’s Tatler that she will be launching an affordable yet “amazing” line this year, saying that her “line is going to reach women in their teens, 20s and 30s who want to be fashionable at an affordable price. It doesn’t have to be deadly expensive to get amazing clothes." When her line launches, Barton will have to contend with competitors Olivia Palermo and Hilary Swank, two other celebrities with upcoming lines.

No word yet on the price points for Palermo’s or Swank’s line, but it seems that Barton is on the right track (especially given her reputation as a fashion victim), with a frugally-priced line. In most cases going mass is the best option for celebrity lines – think Lauren Conrad’s Kohl’s line versus her triple digit higher-end runway flop. Speaking of reality stars-turned-designers, Palermo is following in Whitney Port’s footsteps and is launching a line on her upcoming reality TV show. To her credit, Palermo has impeccable style, so much so that she recently landed a spread in Vogue Espana and has appeared in ads for Mango and Matches.

Olivia PalermoHilary Swank

Moving from Palermo, who will likely take a trend-focused approach when designing her collection, to a very unlikely candidate for a fashion line – Academy Award winning actress Hilary Swank. Known for her acting chops and commitment to grueling character work, the actress has teamed-up with DMA Designers Management Agency to develop an athletic-focused apparel collection. Sure the athletic twist makes sense given Swank’s body of work – aside from boxing in Million Dollar Baby, Swank was also the star of The Next Karate Kid – but wouldn’t you rather buy athletic-wear designed by the athletes who trained Swank? I suppose that remains to be seen. In the meantime, the agency and Swank are looking for potential fashion designers to partner with the actress.