Tuesday, February 16, 2010
CELEBS AS FASHION DESIGNERS?
Recently, WWD reported news that Madonna may be designing her own clothing line. Other celebs who have claimed to be designers include Nicole Ritchie, Sarah Jessica Parker, Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson, JLo, Elizabeth Hurley, Reba McIntyre, and just today, Kim Kardasian showed her line for Bebe at Fashion week in NYC. Sheree from The Real Housewives of Atlanta staged her She by Sheree show at New York Fashion Week last season.
Bebe/Kardashian line is collaboration of designs by the three sisters Kim, Khloe, and Kourtney Kardashian.
As NY Mag states, "with more and more celebrities and fauxlebrities designing clothing lines, and with more and more people taking them seriously, we can only expect the sham shows to proliferate."
According to InStyle online, "'We wanted to show us being voluptuous, sexy women. We took a little from each of our personal styles,' Kardashian (in a hooded leather corset dress from the collection) said of the inspiration."
Does the celebrity status as "designer" lessen or tarnish the reputation of the designer in the fashion industry, who spends years in school or interning to learn the design process, ultimately possessing the skills necessary? Or are we so enamored by the celebrity that we validate them as designers?
There was a time when an unknown like Ralph Lauren could claim to be a designer, although knowing nothing of garment construction. But, the competitiveness of the industry sent thousands into fashion schools to learn and perfect their talents. Each year, thousands of designers fail, leaving the select few who have been deemed worthy of patronage.
The celebrity has taken over the job of cover model for most major magazines, reducing the need for paying high fees to the models, instead, they are paid to the celeb. So, if the celebrity is taking over the "role" of designer (only in name, as celebs really don't design, they have product designers who create for them under licensed contracts with big name manufacturers), what is left for the real designers and aspiring designers?
Can the fashion industry sustain this? Is this really good for "fashion?"