By  on September 4, 2008

For music and fashion icon Justin Timberlake, his own line was the next big step.

Justin Timberlake isn't a criminal. He just plays one on the internet.

The 27-year-old megastar may have teamed with Madonna on her latest record, starred with Mike Myers in “The Love Guru” and toured the globe for his “Future Sex/Love Sounds” show, but he has another genre he’s ready to conquer. The Tennessee native’s latest starring role is in the ad campaign — a series of Webisodes — for his clothing line, William Rast. In the ads, he stars as — who else? — William Rast, a down-and-dirty Southern guy on the run with his girlfriend, Birdie, played by model Erin Wasson.

The campaign is a bit of a jump-off for the Los Angeles-based brand that Timberlake started with his best friend, Trace Ayala, in 2005.

“I’ve found out that you know a lot of women with a lot of opinions when you have a clothing
line coming out,” said Timberlake when he made the fashion leap. “Mothers, girlfriends, friends and cousins all said, ‘Things need to be lowered here or moved there.’ Pocket placement is a big deal, and so is fit. One thing I’ve learned from all the opinions is that, if the jeans fit their ass, well, they’re going to wear them, and then they feel sexy and then the jeans are part of their lifestyle.”

After a slow start in the premium denim area, the duo hired Johan and Marcella Lindeberg as creative heads to develop a full lifestyle brand that would eventually include everything from edgy leather jackets and skinny jeans to military vests and miniskirts. The new product  started hitting stores, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s and Neiman Marcus last month.

“I have always admired the modern designs and sophisticated aesthetics of Johan and Marcella  Lindeberg,” Timberlake told WWD.

And he’s ready to show it off — William Rast’s first New York Fashion Week show is scheduled  for Sunday.

“The show will be all about balancing it out — the fashion and the lifestyle,” Ayala said. “I want people to fall in love with our lifestyle.”

Let’s just hope there are no wardrobe malfunctions.

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