The Model for Bringing Celebrity Fashion Lines to Retail Is Changing

The celebrity fashion line has been a popular brand extension for the biggest names in film, television, music and beyond for centuries. They’ve achieved varying levels of success: You have the short-lived (Daya by Zendaya, Alexachung), the hyper-profitable (Jessica Simpson, Skims) and the ones that establish themselves so firmly, their story becomes less and less about the founder’s A-list status (The Row, Victoria Beckham).

Much like their trajectories vary, so do the way they come to the market. It could be through a licensing deal that requires little involvement on the part of the talent, through equity deals that come with a “creative director” or “chief *something* officer” title or through DTC channels, à la Skims. The latter two may be particularly hot (and much more prevalent) in an evolving retail landscape, but a third route exists somewhere in between, with a celebrity launching their own brand at a major retailer with the help of a third party, a company that serves as a liaison between talent and stockist, that helps guide the design direction, that manufactures the product, that ultimately brings it to the market — what has historically been billed as private label.