Celebrities in fashion: the intersectionality between stars and design


These days, it’s common to hear a celebrity launch a beauty product or clothing line. No celebrity is more simply an actor, actress, musician or comedian. In order to maintain their relevance in the public eye, celebrities feel the need to do something more.

It’s not exactly a new development.

“The first time we really started seeing outside influences on fashion was with hip hop,” said Rebecca Robinson, professor in the fashion department at the University of Miami.

Over time, however, this has spread to a lot more of the entertainment world. Since the rise of hip hop in the 1970s, celebrities of all disciplines have burst onto the fashion scene.

These numbers range from more anticipated names like Britney Spears or Rihanna, to other stars that people don’t usually associate with fashion, like Melissa McCarthy or Rebel Wilson, both of whom are usually comedians.

“Rihanna’s beauty and lingerie collections… They’ve done a lot to fix the holes in the market,” Robinson said. “Fenty had options for a wider variety of skin tones, and her lingerie went to sizes other lines just didn’t have.”

Celebrities are often able to enter these spaces because of their public status and name recognition, according to an article in Psychology Today.

However, many of these celebrity lines or collaborations are done purely for the purpose of financial gain and notoriety.

“For things like perfumes, colognes, eau de parfum, what have you got, the packaging actually costs more than the product,” Robinson said. “The money is not in the product, it is not in the clothes. It’s in the licenses.

Many celebrities who don’t seem to have any connection to the fashion industry are still launching clothing lines. Glamor Magazine has compiled a list of over 30 celebrities who own fashion brands.

Some are not surprising, like Kate Hudson, Kylie Jenner and Kim Kardashian. But others are a little more unusual, like Ellen DeGeneres, actress and talk show host, who released her ED fashion line in 2015.

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Glamor described ED as offering “everything from clothing and accessories to pet, baby and home items.”

Another unexpected name on this list is Serena Williams. While it might be normal to think that Serena would launch an athletic line, her fashion line, Serena, is anything but.

Instead of sportswear, “Serena” is a collection of trendy dresses, hoodies, jewelry and more. Indeed, Meghan Markle wore a Serena brand blazer during her tour of Australia and New Zealand in 2018, according to Glamor.

However, the decisions about these fashion lines aren’t entirely up to stardom.

“Some celebrities are very involved in their lines, others barely,” said Robinson. “They make very few decisions for their line.”

Over the past few decades, the intersectionality between celebrities and the fashion industry has only grown. This pattern will most likely continue into the future.

Some of the crosses could be for the best and will serve to fix some of the holes in the market. Some might crash and burn, and sink into darkness. Regardless, the future of fashion seems to be almost synonymous with the future of stardom.

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