We’ve seen it done plenty of times before. A celebrity branches out of the space they’re known for to dabble into other realms such as fashion or retail. And whether it’s an exploration of a true, long-held passion or theirs, or an extension of their empire and brand, not all celebrity endeavors gain similar success across the board. The following lines don’t have their famous founders slapped on the tag, but their creators can all legitimately boast “designer” as one of their working titles. These celebrities who gained fame elsewhere show it’s possible to successfully crossover and be authentically known for something other than their rise to fame. Here are eight lesser known celebrity clothing lines with not-so-obvious famous backings that you’ll actually love to wear.
Founded in 2010 by former reality star Lauren Conrad, who many might remember as being one of the main characters from MTV’s “Laguna Beach”, and partner Maura McManus. Some hardcore fans of the show might recall episodes where “LC” was followed through internship at teen vogue. Now a bonafide fashion designer, Conrad has two lines under her belt, LC Lauren Conrad (sold exclusively at Kohl’s), and Paper Crown. Paper Crown was created for the everyday chic girl. It takes a modern spin on classic style, with fabric focused pieces that can easily become staples in the contemporary woman’s closest. It’s best described as fresh, elegant and ever feminine. They even have a stunning bridesmaid collection to boot!
Actress and Southern sweetheart Reese Witherspoon started Draper James (adorably named after her grandparents Dorothea Draper and William James Witherspoon) to honor her Southern heritage. As Reese explains, her grandmother didn’t have very many dresses, but she always knew how to make them look pretty with elegant accessories and a matching purse in hand. In her brand, she works to capture all of the romance, charm, and elegance that’s signature to the South and her grandparents who taught her the importance of style and being a lady. Nearly half of the company’s products are made right here in America, too. “Be charming if you can; witty if you must. But always have grace.” With a mission statement that’s sweeter than sweet tea, it is only polite to check out their line. You’ll be, as they say in the South, pleased as punch you did.
Established in 2006 by former child actresses turned American fashion designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, THE ROW brand has expanded to include ready-to-wear, eyewear, handbags, and footwear. The pieces offered are made to embody a sense of relaxed style with timeless, classic elegance. The line embodies simple luxury, and part of its mission is to support high-end manufacturing in the US. Some of the sisters’ accolades include being named Womenswear Designers of The Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in both 2012 and 2015, and the title of CFDA Accessory Designers of the Year in 2014.
Comedian, actress, and body positive Melissa McCarthy eagerly jumped at the opportunity to create a fashion line for women because she saw through dressings for different red carpet events, a void in the market for women of different shapes and sizes to have high quality and stylish clothing. She wants women everywhere to have fun dressing up all over again, regardless of what size you are. And because she believes shopping should never make you feel bad, she created Seven7 to be designed to fit, fashioned to flatter. Just when you thought you couldn’t love her anymore, right?
Alice + Olivia
Stacey Bendet, designer and wife of film producer Eric Eisner, founded the New York based contemporary clothing company Alice + Olivia with a University of Pennsylvania classmate back in 2002. Inspired by Stacey’s love of art, music, vintage culture, and the women around her, Alice + Olivia is a colorful ode to the whimsical and imaginative. Bendet’s philosophy and personality can be clearly seen within many of the line’s pieces. With a strong desire for women empowerment, her company employs close to 400 women and their Instagram is filled with inspirational girl power messages.
House of Harlow
Originating as a jewelry line that’s recently expanded to include clothing and other accessories, House of Harlow was founded and created by television personality, actress, and daughter of musician Lionel Richie, Nicole Richie. The former “Simple Life” star’s brand can be described as anything but plain and simple. Richie infuses her boho-chic style into each of House of Harlow’s designs. REVOLVE recently teamed up the fashion designed to create a line inspired by her free-spirited style, love for music, and L.A. In 2010, Richie’s House of Harlow 1960 line earned her the 2010 Glamour “Entrepreneur of the Year” aware. The brand currency has over 350k followers on Instagram.
Founded by our favorite former boy band-er Justin Timberlake, along with co-founder and longtime BFF Trace Ayala, William Rast began as a premium jeans line in 2006. It has now evolved to include other menswear items and a women’s line as well. The name is a combination of JT’s grandfather’s first name and Ayala’s grandfather’s last name. Noticing a trend of brand’s being named after grandparents here? The singer/songwriter and actor explains that to understand the brand, you must understand the roots of their hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. While Memphis is home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll, Nashville down the road is the cornerstone of country music. It was only natural that the brand was influenced by and merged the different genres. The brand is now available at new retailer’s like Macy’s, Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Belk, and Bloomington.
Pair of Thieves
Cash Warren, film a producer who is otherwise most lovingly known as Jessica Alba’s hilarious hubby, founded the premium socks brand Pair of Thieves with partners and classmates Alan Stuart and David Ehrenburg. Warren gravitated toward sockwear due to an obsession of wanting to wear funky socks all time, such as putting them on to play basketball in high school. Not particularly confident of their own fashion sense, the guys agreed that for most men, “socks are one of the few items that you can wear a little bit louder, a little bit funkier, and perhaps a little bit edgier, than the rest of your outfit”. A subtle way to show off your personality, the line creates socks that are both fashionable and durable, something they know athletic men need from a good, stylish sock. The brand isn’t exclusive to men however, and includes socks for women, children, and infants alike! They have also expanded to include underwear. Look for these during your next target run!