Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Are Celebrity Brands Still Relevant (and Working)?

So, another celebrity has jumped into the "designer" fray. Christie Brinkley--model, mother, serial-wife--is adding jewelry designer to her resume. Brinkley teamed up with retailer Ross-Simons to launch the Christie Brinkley Collection. While the line is actually well positioned with great prices (ring, below, is $125) and stylish (if not innovative, with floral, heart and boho themes) design, I'm curious about the whole "celebrity" angle. Is it still relevant? Does this strategy work in this economy? 

It may very well be that I'm jaded. First, I wrote through the years about far too many "celebrity" fashion and jewelry lines, most of
 which barely registered a blip on the mainstream style radar
 (um, Brody Jenner, anyone?). Second, I'm currently absorbed with the business of independent designers, artists and boutique luxury-service providers. Granted, this is a definite PR success for Ross-Simons (if this were just an unbranded line I and many others probably wouldn't pay it much attention). But, given that consumers seem to be focused on value over image right now, it seems to me that, while celebrities are still helping to drive fashion trends, the general idea of celebrity brands may be reaching the saturation point. I'm very curious to hear thoughts on the subject...

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