Whenever actors, singers, or other entertainers foray into new areas of business I am very skeptical and wary of the new venture, particularly when it comes to fashion. I don’t doubt that entertainers can be creative in a craft that is not originally theirs, but I also believe that just because so-and-so has great style with the help of a stylist it doesn’t warrant a clothing, handbag, or shoe line. It also bothers me that the line is touted as the celebrity’s own when they’ve probably had little to do with the process of creating it. Of course, this is a generalization as I’m sure there are those who are seriously invested in producing a line of goods that they would themselves sport. To be fair, I’ve written off a lot of celebrity collaborations and fashion ventures so I decided to take a closer look at a few of the obvious ones.
Twenty8Twelve is Sienna Miller’s collaboration with her sister Savannah who studied at the illustrious St. Martin’s. Their business idea caught the attention of Spanish entrepreneur Carlos Ortega who brought their dream to fruition. Their current RTW collection was shown during London Fashion Week through a day of private appointments where the focus was on building relationships minus the circus involved with putting on a show. Although the collection strayed from displaying any particular theme, it gave the sisters an opportunity to show off a new level of quality with domestic manufacturing. There is nothing too horrid about the very wearable Twenty8Twelve, but then again, it isn’t overly memorable either . With 3 standalone stores in London, online stockists like ShopBop and Revolve, and department stores like Nordstrom’s carrying the line, Twenty8Twelve seems to teeter on doing ok with Sienna’s celebrity status and Savannah’s design efforts.
William Rast www.williamrast.com
Yes, JT brought SexyBack (did it need to be brought back?) and with business partner Trace Ayola he brought William Rast and a slew of premium denim to stock our closets with. Named after JT’s and Ayola’s grandfathers, William Rast has since expanded into men’s and women’s RTW that isn’t original, but exudes confidence and cool as only JT can. The line has not shown at any fall fashion weeks this year, but has previously filled its shows with fashion heavyweights like Anna Wintour and Carine Roitfeld. I get the feeling that since Swedish designer Johan Lindeberg left in 2009 to create his own lifestyle brand and collaborate with BLK DNM last year, William Rast has struggled a bit, but they are revamping with their new creative director and started this year with a more accessible collaboration with Target. Time will only tell if the cool factor is enough to keep this venture afloat.
The Row www.therow.com
Named after the infamous Savile Row of London, the Olsen twins launched yet another clothing venture in 2007 along with their more widely known boho-chic Elizabeth & James line. What started as a quest to create the perfect T-shirt has become a serious, luxe, and tailored line of clothing. Their Fall ’11 RTW collection was shown during New York Fashion Week and like the Miller sisters, Mary-Kate and Ashley also opted for private appointments instead of a runway show. Fox fur, cashmere, and mink dominate along with sharp tailoring and a small step away from their usual minimalism by way of a hint of colour. This season also marks the debut of their handbag collection which is ambitiously competing against the likes of Céline and Hermès with the material and workmanship rumoured to be of the same caliber. Probably one of the first to work on collaborations with discount department stores, the twins have the business experience behind them, the funding they need by way of their empire Dualstar, and it looks like they just might have the creative insight to keep The Row relevant.
Images via Style.com