Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fashion Goes Pop

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Fashion Goes Pop

Article excerpt

Byline: By Vicky Pepys

News arrives this week that boy band Blue has signed to Puffa for a total re-launch. The news last week was of Pamela Anderson launching The Pamela Collection in the spring. And the week before, we learned we could be wearing something by Beyonce Knowles by early summer.

Sounds like a record deal rather than fashion.

Celebrities front fashion regularly these days and some, with design skills highly unlikely, choose a manufacturer or are chosen by a brand that will produce their `look' or perhaps their own line.

Hence the Love Kylie and the J Lo ranges. Yet against all odds the P Diddy (formerly Puff Daddy) line Sean John has launched, has been acclaimed and accepted into New York's prestigious fashion week and given catwalk time.

Researchers for US advertising agencies declared last week that Halle Berry and Beyonce are the most popular celebrity endorsers with Jennifer Lopez, Justin Timberlake and Eminen not far behind.

Doug Shabelman, senior vice president at Burns Sports and Celebrity Service based in Chicago, says: " You immediately see a celebrity and you're going to have a much better chance of re-calling that spot than if you saw a regular person."

We don't need researchers to tell us that.

The world has gone celebrity mad, even looking at last weeks television. We didn't turn a hair when Celebrity Bargain Hunt came on. It didn't herald Children in Need, it just seemed like regular mid-week viewing.

Some celebrities are naturally `up for it'; that is, `up' for fashion marketing departments to approach them with a usually lucrative contract.

Their endorsement has been seen to revitalise an ailing brand, and in return they receive maximum exposure. But more and more we now accept, and even expect, celebrity fashion involvement somewhere along the line.

Unknown models used to do the job of creating the `ideal'. But now models become celebrities, or actresses, or pop stars or both. Burberry has former model-turned-celebrity Kate Moss; but then so do Zara and Rimmel.

Agents and representatives will argue that each market does not encroach on the other. Whoever can afford to artistically direct and project an acceptable image and market to the full potential, has the pick of available celebrities.

Just a joke, but when will Shane Ritchie in his EastEnders Alfie Moon persona endorse or have his own label of loungewear based on the unlikely mix of red satin kimono and personalised football shirts? Will Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall have his own line of domestic-god Wellington boots with matching stout kitchen aprons for the hunter-gatherer?

Successful and credible endorsements this season have been David Beckham's DB07 range with Marks & Spencer; supermodel and polo playing Jodie Kidd for Monsoon; Vernon Kay for Burton and Minnie Driver for Principles. …

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