Who would you rather have dress your daughter: the princess of pop or the material girl's girl?
Britney Spears and Lourdes Ciccone, Madonna's 13-year-old daughter, will go head to head to covet teen and tween consumers this fall. Both are dialing up anticipation about their upcoming clothing lines.
Spears' juniors' collection, "Britney for Candie's," will hit Kohl's Department stores July 1 to kick off the back-to-school shopping season. Though she's not resurrecting the tiny plaid skirts from her "...Baby One More Time" days, Spears is pushing the envelope of what's acceptable for young girls to wear.
"I love the black trench coat," she told InStyle.com. "You can wear it over your outfit or as a dress. There's also an amazing studded skirt that's perfect for going out."
"I used a lot of studs and lace, because I wanted to make the clothes cool and edgy yet girly," she added.
Meanwhile, Lourdes is blogging about her Material Girl line, due at Macy's this fall.
"I am totally obsessivo about 80's shorts," she wrote on Material World, a blog dedicated to her fashion line. "You know the kind that makes your butt look kinda big, with a grunge-looking shirt tucked in. It's kinda nerdy but I love it."
Lourdes, nicknamed Lola, designed most of the collection herself, Madonna told the Associated Press.
"I just stand in the background and go, 'That's cool, that's not cool,'" Madonna said. "She does have good taste in fashion. I respect her taste and I rarely disagree with her."
Some celebrities can't seem to help themselves. Give them an opportunity, and they're prone to stick their name on a shoe, a sheet, even beef jerky.
Fans and marketers have high hopes. With a reputation as a perfectionist who demands top quality from collaborators, Madonna, who recently launched a collection of sunglasses with Dolce & Gabbanna, has an advantage over other celebrities. Stars from Lindsay Lohan (sin: Ungaro pasties) to Jeff Foxworthy (sin: beef jerky) have drawn laughs over their lines.
"Anything that Madonna touches does well," says Kristi McCormick, founder of Matchbook talent agency, which has represented celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse and football star Tom Brady. "Women, young and old, want to look like her, dress like her, be like her."
Spears, Madonna and Lourdes are tapping into a hot trend: celebrity product branding. It's different from endorsements, in which a star simply agrees to act as a spokesperson for a certain company. Celebrities who launch their own lines often come up with ideas for products themselves, help with the design and own a stake in the venture.
Not surprisingly, celebrities and business don't always mix, says Mark Roesler, CEO of the branding agency CMG Worldwide.
"Celebrities often think they have more power in the marketplace than they do, and they often get involved in projects that aren't well thought out," says Roesler. "It's a difficult business world out there and many products fail."
Sometimes stars stray too far from their base, branching into product lines that don't reflect their own tastes and don't appeal to their fans, says Roesler. Or they cash out too cheaply, putting their name on flimsy, overpriced merchandise.