Brand consultants often talk about “expanding the brand” because – let’s be honest here, its what our clients want and pay us for. Almost weekly we hear of some celebrity starting a new clothing line – and the numbers the investors put in are always pretty interesting (too much or really cheap depending on the deal).
A few notes to consider:
- The lifespan of these kinds of clothing lines is by all intents – short. The average deal is no more than 3 years
- Celebrity clothing brands are volatile, because their success is closely tied to one person whose popularity can fluctuate violently. (see; Gibson, Mel)
- Celebrities often don’t wear their own upscale clothing at high impact events (Oscars, etc.) often because they are paid to wear other designers clothing.
So where do celebrity clothing lines work best?
The most successful celebrity lines have lower price points, are pointed directly at the mass market, and are sold nationwide. (Target, etc.) Mid-line clothing, sold exclusively in department stores (Macy’s, etc.) make less overall and fade away faster.
Where would I put my money if I were going to pursue a celebrity?
I would look really hard at dead celebrities. A great example is Steve McQueen – his image is perfect with the current fashion and really there is no way to be hurt by some kind of crazy antics because he’s dead. That might sound a bit pragmatic, but while you may want to expand your brand, you need to protect it too.