Celebrity clothing lines are not a new phenomenon, and sometimes they make perfect sense. Victoria Beckham, the designer formerly known as Posh Spice, channeled her evident interest and good eye into a viable luxury brand. Sarah Jessica Parker started a footwear company anchored by her status as a legit fashion icon. And then there’s Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who used keen business savvy to elevate their CFDA award-winning label the Row and extract it from the category entirely.
But now random stars like Reese Witherspoon, Ellen DeGeneres and Melissa McCarthy have decided to enter the oversaturated arena. Here, we draw the line. We’ve reached a point of critical fatigue.
In May, InStyle’s Eric Wilson voiced his support of the trend. “[Celeb lines] create jobs for many nonfamous designers that pay really well,” he wrote. “Also, consumers clearly relate to their style, as well as their backgrounds and personalities, so it’s great to be able to shop directly from the source.”
All right, sure. Forget the far-fetched notion that style should reflect eclectic, cultivated taste over simple-minded consumption (“I want it ’cause it looked cute on Reese!”). What about job security for the nonfamous designers who work for credible brands that struggle — and shutter — because they can’t compete with those that have the fiscal lifejacket of a multimillion dollar net worth?
Case in point: Band of Outsiders designer Scott Sternberg has a loyal following and tons of famous friends, but even he couldn’t keep his label afloat.
Capitalism’s a tough beast to tackle, but it’s not so hard to rebuke the idea that something is worth your money and attention simply because a famous name is attached to it. Take a look at the latest crop of star-endorsed collections, and then ask yourself if they’re offering anything you haven’t seen.
Celeb connection: Reese Witherspoon
Looks like: a country-fried version of Tory Burch meets Kate Spade meets J.Crew
A photo posted by Draper James (@draperjamesgirl) on Jul 1, 2015 at 5:03pm PDT
The clothes aren’t bad, but that is no reason to buy them.
Celeb connection: Ellen DeGeneres
Looks like: the Gap — or literally any brand that makes unlogoed button-down shirts and chinos
A photo posted by ED by Ellen (@edbyellen) on Jun 23, 2015 at 3:06pm PDT
Everyone loves Ellen, but the world has enough basics. We promise.
Celeb connection: Melissa McCarthy
Looks like: crap
A photo posted by Melissa McCarthy (@melissamccarthy) on Jun 3, 2015 at 8:39am PDT
McCarthy has gotten plenty of buzz for slamming the term “plus-size” while promoting the line, but who cares about political correctness when the product is tacky? Find us an adult woman — of any shape — who actually wants to wear this cat-doodle sweater.