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Celebrities in Fashion

Courtney Cox | Thursday, February 17, 2011

With New York Fashion Week drawing to a close, names like Kate Mulleavy, Prabal Gurung and Oliver Theyskens are on the mind of any fashion follower.

These names may mean nothing to those who don’t follow fashion closely, but it’s surprising just how many designers are recognizable not for their design aesthetic, but for their acting or singing chops. Everyone from the Olsen twins to Sienna Miller has dipped their feet into the fashion pool.

Though they started as adorable Michelle on “Full House,” Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have almost entirely given up their acting career for their pursuit of fashion stardom. They are extremely well respected in the fashion community and take their collection, The Row, very seriously.

The Row is a high end line that focuses on simplicity and sophistication without losing its cool edge. The fabric choices are very deliberate and uphold the luxurious image of the collection as a whole. Luxury, of course, comes at a price — and The Row is quite pricey. Its Fall 2011 collection includes handbags that will be priced similarly to handbags from Hermes (in the $3,000-$6,000 range).

It’s no secret that Justin Timberlake is unbelievably talented, but who knew he could add designer to his already extensive repertoire? He works alongside his friend Trace Ayala as the designer behind the line William Rast. The line has an extensive denim collection in addition to androgynous women’s clothing with an American hippie vibe and men’s clothing in the same vein. The brand recently collaborated with Target to provide their clothing at reasonable prices.

Any conversation about celebrities crossing over into the world of fashion would be incomplete without acknowledging the role Gwen Stefani plays in fashion. She began her line, L.A.M.B., in 2003 and it has only grown in popularity since its first showing at New York Fashion Week in 2004. The clothing is always bold and is exceptional in its creation of prints. It embodies the rocker-chic aesthetic that Stefani has mastered so well. The collection can also boast celebrity fans like Kim Kardashian, Rihanna and Rachel Zoe.

A new addition to the celebrity-designer club is Victoria Beckham. She has made an incredible transition into the field and won the hearts of stylists, editors and fellow celebrities. Her self-titled line is a testimony to her impact on the fashion industry. Well known for her chic personal style, Beckham transforms her style into a cohesive collection full of wearable dresses in solid colors and flattering silhouettes. This season she used plenty of flowy lines as opposed to body-hugging dresses as she had in the past — perhaps a nod to her growing baby bump? Regardless, the collection is a favorite of fashion fans.

Design talent doesn’t have to lie in clothing alone. Kate Bosworth brought her California-Bohemian style to her latest project, Jewelmint.com. The site, created in collaboration with stylist Cher Coulter, is essentially a jewelry club that sends users an item of their choice designed by Bosworth and Coulter once a month for $29.99. It also features style tips and weekly trend reports. The designs of the jewelry are inspired by pieces that Bosworth would be seen wearing in the day and could become staples for any budding “It Girls.”

The fashion industry is difficult to break into, especially as a designer, but with a famous name and unique perspectives on personal style these celebrities have succeeded at leaving their mark on the world of design.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Courtney Cox at [email protected]