There are those who firmly believe the celebrity-as-designer craze has lost its luster, but newcomers launching lines this fall naturally believe otherwise.
"I woke up at 5 this morning so I could come in and set up before I started meeting with all the buyers," Paris Hilton said Tuesday from her Los Angeles showroom, where she was showing her product to stores for the first time. Her self-titled apparel line will be launched for back-to-school.
"This has been my dream since I was a little girl, so I am completely invested in the success of this brand," she added. "This is my job; I will be here doing this all the time."
Hilton, who delayed a trip to Switzerland to be in Los Angeles for market week, said she had been involved in each detail of her collection, from picking the right buttons on jeans to developing new marketing ideas. She said she planned to be involved with her licensee, Dollhouse, through every decision. New product, she said, would be available every 30 to 60 days.
"It was really important to me that I be here to explain my vision to all the buyers when they see the clothes," she said. "And seeing me here lets them know that I'm really in this."
And, Hilton insisted, she will be seen wearing her own line all the time.
Michael Stone, president and chief executive officer of brand consultant firm Beanstalk Group, works with Hilton, and with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen on their brand, which is sold exclusively at Wal-Mart.
"We see celebrities all the time who walk in here and tell us that they want to have a clothing line," he said. "We always tell them the same thing — you have to put in the time and the work. Some really just don't understand the business. We tell them that they have to come out with new product at least four times a year in the apparel business. If they can't do that, then apparel isn't for them."
Stone said more often than not, the celebrity seeking an apparel line of his or her own will walk right out the door. He said the main reason some celebrity clothing lines flop was because the celebrities weren't as involved as they should be.
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