The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

November 27, 2012

Lines by Madonna and other celebs pop up in stores

(Continued)

Indeed, industry experts say for every celebrity brand that is a hit, five others flop. Anyone remember hip hop star and actor L.L. Cool J's casual clothing line with Sears? It lasted less than a year after its launch in 2008. One reason was that the collection of hooded sweatshirts and jeans failed to catch the eyes of Americans at a time when the country was in a deep recession.

It's also key that the clothes reflect the personality of the celebrity because many consumers will want to emulate their style. For example, Lopez, 43, shuttered her Sweetface clothing collection in 2009, six years after launching it at several department stores, in part because shoppers didn't believe that the line matched her glam style. The collection, which included sweat pants instead of the fitted dresses Lopez is known for sporting, were seen as too casual.

But Lopez learned from that line. Last year, she launched an exclusive collection for Kohl's, which offers $99.99 platform wedge boots and $60 animal print faux-wrap dresses under her name. The collection is faring well, according to Kohl's, although the chain declined to give sales figures.

"Every look in this collection ... is something that people know I would wear," reads a statement by Lopez on Kohl's website.

It's also important that a celebrity doesn't say or do things that could reflect poorly on a store's image. Earlier this month, an angry customer started an online campaign calling for Macy's to dump Donald Trump's line of $65 power ties and $65 dress shirts after the billionaire verbally attacked President Barack Obama on social media after he won re-election.

Angelo Carusone, 30, who has collected nearly 673,000 signatures on petition website signon.org. Carusone, once a loyal Macy's shopper, says he won't shop there again until the retailer severs ties with Trump. "Macy's is building a brand on Trump's consequence-free bullying," he says.

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