Can Celebs Up Their Star Status With Clothes?

Soon we'll be replacing shorts and tank tops with sweaters and coats. But whether you're fixating on fall's fickle fads or begging for bargains, it's likely you'll come across some celebrity names when you're browsing the clothing racks this season.

Branding the big names has become a huge business for retailers high end and low, and bringing in bigger bucks is the bonus. What does that mean for celebrities? Being a talented thespian, singer or dancer may not be enough in a world where staying famous requires putting your name on a product.

If you don't have a makeup campaign like Evas Mendes or Longoria, you should at least have your name on a clothing line or your own fragrance like Liz Taylor, Sarah Jessica Parker or Britney Spears.

Then there are the pop overachievers: those who sing, dance and design. Madonna, who designs for H&M, is a bigger hit in the Swedish-born store than she is in the theater. Kylie Minogue, who also knocked out a line for H&M, and wardrobe revolutionist Gwen Stefani, who has a Vivienne Westwood-inspired clothing line called Lamb, have proven that women who rock the stage can also rock the rack.

Eve is another success story. She's gone from rapper to designer with her line, Fetish, and has even managed to make some movie magic. J. Lo has been a quintuple-threat for years. The actress, singer, dancer, clothing designer and fragrance promoter was clever to take a lesson from her previous paramour, P. Diddy, who has the ultimate expertise in branding and promoting across a plethora of platforms.

Bad Boyz Can Bring in Biz, Too

Producer, artist, designer, actor, television host, and No. 3 on Forbes' Hip-Hop Cash Kings list, Diddy proves bad boyz can be successful. Eminem hit the big time as a rapper but crossed over to movies with "8 Mile" and has decided to share his sense of style in a new clothing line.

Pop prince Justin Timberlake has not been left in the dust. When he's not busy bringing sexy back to his bombshell girlfriend of the moment, he is working hard trying to break into movies as well as designing his heart out for his new clothing line, William Rast. Rapper Nelly hawks Apple Bottom jeans (clearly choosing to focus on the part of anatomy he like best).

My personal gal pal Mila Jovanovich, who came to America as a child supermodel, quickly transitioned to a recording a pop album a few years back. She's made several successful films and recently started a clothing line called Jovanovich Hawke with friend Carmen Hawke. It's already a favorite of Vogue editor in chief, Anna Wintour -- not an easy task to accomplish.

Perhaps it's those years of working as a model that actually gives Jovanovich some expertise and credibility as a designer, instead of being just another prima donna plastering her name to a product for the almighty dollar.

Not Everyone's Cut Out for Fashion

Which brings me to a major point: Just because you wear clothes doesn't mean you should be designing them. I find it incredibly ironic and somewhat pretentious that most of these celebrity designers can't even bother to dress themselves, usually relying on a studio to spend thousands of dollars to hire a stylist (like myself) to dictate what they should wear.

So where does all this self-proclaimed expertise as a fashionista actually come from? I guess the irresistible urge to see one's name and image everywhere. But that's not true across the board.

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