Celebrities have no intention of staying away from fashion, even with all the bad press lately (see last season's disastrous Lohan/Ungaro mash up). Last week Madonna teamed up with Iconix Brand Group to produce a tween line inspired by her daughter Lourdes. Early this week, she struck another deal with Dolce & Gabbana to produce a line of eyewear called MDG. Amy Winehouse hooked up with Fred Perry for a line scheduled to hit stores in the fall. And then there is Sarah Jessica Parker and Halston and a myriad of Olympic stars lending their now recognizable names to brands.
Since the days of Jaclyn Smith for Kmart in the '80s and Kathy Lee Gifford for Wal-Mart in the 90s, celebrities have been ubiquitous in the fashion field. It's not hard to guess what their primary motivator is. A brand generally spends loads of money for the privilege of using a household name.
But does it do anything for a brand? Based on some marketing studies I found online, the jury is out on that one. One guy called it the lazy man's brand building. Another said it's very hard for the consumer to keep track of what celebrity is with whom and harder still to trust a brand just from a celebrity endorsement alone. And if a celeb is hooked up with lots of different brands, each individual brand could really suffer.