The Top 5 Celebrity Merchandise Brands
January 20, 2020
The intersection of fashion, art, and music is a breeding ground for some of the most creative minds, but also those with an entrepreneurial bent. Artists, celebrities, and musicians alike have tried their hands at fashion. Some were so successful that you can’t go to some big box retail stores without seeing their brand all over.
So, how did we get here? The rise of celebrity culture is one reason, but branching out into fashion has to be so natural for some artists. After all, clothing is just another way for us to express ourselves–which is just what artists are known to do.
Artists, celebrities, and musicians alike have tried their hands at fashion. We took a look at some of the artists, musicians, and celebrities who have launched (or are launching) successful clothing lines.
Okay, okay. She’s already super famous artist, has started clothing lines in the past, and is a role model for women and girls everywhere. Is there anything Beyonce can’t do?
In collaboration with TopShop, Bey just launched a new activewear clothing line called Ivy Park. Athletic wear has been surging in popularity for some time now, so it makes sense that Queen B would be interested in working up a sweat in the space. Marketed as athleisure, Beyonce hopes women will be comfortable wearing her clothes whether they’re working out or just hanging out. The jury is still out on Ivy Park, but if Beyonce’s past is any indication of her future, this will be yet another successful venture for the superstar.
Possibly the best surfer to ever walk the Earth, Kelly Slater started his Outerknown fashion line in mid-2015, with the help of creative director John Moore. Lots of skate and surf clothing shoots for the bright colors and the outlandish designs, but Slater’s takes a different approach. He describes the clothing as laid-back “surf-inspired menswear.”
Many surfers are known to appreciate and respect the environment, probably owing to the fact that they know its beauty and power unlike any others–from inside the barrel of a wave. Slater’s clothes are all environmentally friendly and sustainable, made in runs of less than 300 (READ: not mass produced), and are made from recycled materials. Sustainable styles are a great selling point in this day and age, and Slater’s off to a nice start with his collection. Future styles are going to include women’s clothing, along with travel bags and accessories.
What you might not know about Don Ed Hardy, founder of the infamous mid-2000s Ed Hardy brand of clothing, is that he was trained as a tattoo artist in the 1970s by a Japanese tattoo master. Whatever your opinion of the Ed Hardy clothing line’s style is, you can’t deny that the man has incredible talent. His designs are often intricate and beautiful, and the sheer number of people who wore his clothing over the last decade speaks to that.
900° anyone? Another extreme sports athlete, skateboarder Tony Hawk founded his clothing line in 1998, right near the peak of his popularity. Before Tony Hawk’s debut in popularity, skateboarding and other extreme sports were often seen as pursuits for lazy teenagers. The pro-skater changed all that.
While the brand didn’t quite catch on at first, skater style slowly grew in popularity and arguably reached its apex in the mid 2000s. The X Games on ESPN, the insanely fun Tony Hawk video games, and a greater acceptance for the skateboarding culture led to the perfect conditions for Tony Hawk’s brand to become a household name. Now, you can see his brand exclusively in Kohl’s stores all over the country.
Is it Yeezy season yet? Kanye West, the polarizing rapper and Yeezy’s founder, wants to change the world with just about everything he does, but fashion has been on his mind a lot lately. We could write a whole article just on the Yeezy brand itself, including the Life of Pablo pop-up shop that accompanied the release of the rapper’s most recent album. But can it be called a success? Hard to say just yet.
While West’s fashion line gets a lot of press (when does he not?) it seems that the world of high fashion is conspiring to keep him out, evident in his partnership with Adidas. While it’s a huge global brand, it’s not quite the same level as say Vera Wang or other designer clothing. West also claims to be in a huge amount of debt from the projects, which doesn’t bode well for the future of the line. We’ll have to wait a few more years to see if Kanye has any tricks up his sleeve.
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