FAMOUS people just have to have it all – it is not enough that they’re talented, good-looking (well, most of them are, anyway) and rich, many of them, at some point in their careers, take up side projects.

While actresses who venture into singing and vice versa was once considered quite a leap, these days no one bats an eyelid when a star crosses over to another medium.

Nowadays, it is no longer a big surprise when a celebrity announces they are launching perfumes, opening restaurants, and starting fashion labels.

Kanye West will debut his fashion line at the Paris Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2012 some time this week and while we only have a vague idea of what he has in store for us (London-based designer Katie Eary leads the design team), we’re looking forward to seeing the collection.

Many celebrities have a team of experts to guide them through the process of creating their own fashion label, but some of them do try to immerse themselves in the creative process, leaving their personal touch on the merchandise.

Gwen Stefani's immensely successful L.A.M.B. fashion line

However, not everyone is a fan of celebrities basking in the limelight when it comes to designing – some fashion bigwigs have been quoted as saying customers are being short-changed when buying from celebrity labels. Some see these labels as mere publicity stunts to boost a celebrity’s popularity, and do not contribute to the fashion industry in any way.

While these opinions are widespread, they haven’t had much bearing on celebrities launching their own fashion lines, and collaborating with high street brands to produce limited edition collections (like Penelope Cruz for Mango, Kate Moss for Topshop and Lily Allen for New Look).

Labels that worked

Gwen Stefani’s fashion line L.A.M.B. debuted in 2004 and quickly garnered mainstream success, making an estimated annual gross income of US$90mil (RM286mil). The high-end line manufactures shoes, watches, bags, apparel and fragrances. The singer also has a high-street label called Harajuku Lovers, which launched in 2005.

Jessica Simpson’s music and movie careers may have grinded to a halt, but her US$1bil (RM3.18bil) fashion business is the biggest-selling celebrity fashion line in the United States. Her fashion empire includes handbags, shoes, jewellery and swimwear. She also has her own signature fragrance.

From the Jessica Simpson collection

Victoria Beckham is so famous for her style and successful fashion line, we often forget she was once Victoria Adams aka Posh Spice who sang in a pop group called the Spice Girls. The international style icon’s collection, dVb, was launched in 2008 and is immensely popular among the rich and famous everywhere. Her denim collection dVb Style (2007) received praise as well.

Not quite there

You’d expect a fashion icon like Sarah Jessica Parker (ahem, “Carrie Bradshaw” on Sex And The City) to launch a fashion line and turn it into absolute gold. However, the collection called Bitten, a budget range sold in a clothing chain in the United States, sadly disappeared when the chain went bankrupt in 2008. We won’t blame SJP for this, it was just unfortunate.

Fashion icon SJP

The actress also worked as the chief creative officer at Halston Heritage, but quit a few months ago.

Jennifer Lopez is back on the music scene after disappearing from the limelight for several years, and after a number of successful fragrance endeavours, she’s dabbling in bronzing products and body lotions, and launching more perfumes.

Once upon a time, though, she had three low-range clothing lines – JLo, Sweetface and JustSweet. Although they were featured in several major fashion events and received a lot of publicity, by 2009 she had retired all three lines.
She’s given it another go, though, with mainstream retailer Kohl’s, so all the best to her!

Reality star Lauren Conrad (Laguna Beach, The Hills) doesn’t give up – after two not-so-great labels (The Lauren Conrad Collection and LC by Lauren Conrad) the “star” is focusing on a third line, Paper Crown. Let’s hope she gets the pricing right this time, as her first collection’s failure was largely due to putting expensive price tags on low-quality items (tsk, tsk)!

Fashion? Them?

David Hasselhoff had something called Malibu Dave, Busta Rhymes came up with Bushi Sport, while Fat Joe had FJ560. No, seriously.

Yes, him.

Reality star and “recording artiste” Heidi Montag also had her own line called Anchor Blue, which bombed, just like her acting/singing/modelling careers.

Tell us what you think!

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