You know a celebrity has reached peak fame when they have enough star power to monetize their success just by slapping their names on anything. While there's nothing wrong with that, there's a marked difference between celebrity "designers" and legit designers who happen to be celebrities.
But this nuance wasn't always there in recent history (you know, after Amelia Earhart made her mark)—until Gwen Stefani launched L.A.M.B in 2003 and then the Olsen twins who established themselves as credible designers and earned the respect of the industry with their CFDA award-winning label The Row in 2006. Then came Victoria Beckham with her hit of a fashion line, and more recently, Sarah Jessica Parker's shoe designs, Kanye West's Yeezy collections, and Rihanna's packed roster of design collaborations.
They all share a demand to be taken seriously, and lucky for them, built-in publicity every time they step out wearing their own designs. It's obviously in their best interest to do so, but we like to think it's because they truly believe in and genuinely like their designs. From Nicole Richie's House of Harlow 1960 pieces to Lauren Conrad's Kohl's collection, scroll through to see 10 celebrities who resolutely (and for some, almost exclusively) wear their own designs.
1. Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham debuted her eponymous line in 2008 with a collection that included little cocktail dresses, fitted body-hugging silhouettes, and eveningwear, all styled with towering stilettos. Now, her designs have evolved into easy, fluid shapes (paired with brogues!), sporty knitwear, and strong menswear pieces—and she's been there to test-drive and model every design every step of the way.
2. Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen, The Row
Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have found enormous success in their 10-year-old label The Row (named after Savile Row in London), which overcame that "celebrity designer" stigma by earning the respect of the industry with its high-quality, modern pieces (they've won three CFDA Awards so far, with a whopping total of six nominations). Of course, they (and their little sister Elizabeth!) are the first to champion their line, wearing The Row on the red carpet and integrating pieces into their off-duty uniforms during rare Olsen sightings.
3. Sarah Jessica Parker, SJP
Of course Sarah Jessica Parker would turn to Manolo Blahnik to launch a footwear collection in 2014 (the brand was the unofficial shoe of Sex and the City, after all). “I thought about launching my own line for a long time," she once told us. And now that her SJP collection is alive and well, there's no red carpet Parker graces without an SJP design on her feet.
4. Nicole Richie, House of Harlow 1960
As a proud Angeleno (born and raised), Nicole Richie has designed for House of Harlow 1960 with an LA mindset from day one, starting with her jewelry and more recently, her summer fashion collection done in collaboration with Revolve. "Revolve is LA-based and I’m from here and I was like, ‘I want to do an LA-inspired collection,'” the designer told InStyle, who was inspired by her stylish friends. "What do I see my friends wearing? What can we pair with other pieces that already exist in our closet? What is the summer vibe? Everything is super easy to wear and extremely comfortable."
5. Gwen Stefani, L.A.M.B.
Gwen Stefani turned her personal endearingly eccentric, punk-rock aesthetic into a lucrative business in 2003 (out of her own kitchen!). "Designing is something that I've always loved and dreamed about," the No Doubt singer stated. "And L.A.M.B. just keeps getting better every season." And as the poster child of L.A.M.B., Stefani wears her designs whenever she can make a statement, like at the 2014 MTV Video Music awards in hot pink separates.
It's hard to keep track of RiRi's fashion gigs—she wields her design talent in many areas. She's currently the creative director of Puma, but she has also collaborated on a denim shoe collection with Manolo Blahnik, a range of socks with Stance, and futuristic eyewear with Dior—all of which she wears on the regular (like her crazy-cool denim boot chaps or this sexy lace-up Fenty x Puma number that she styled with her Dior sunglasses).
7. Lauren Conrad, LC Lauren Conrad
America grew up with reality TV star darling Lauren Conrad as she navigated her way through high school and then post-graduation life. And even after the cameras stopped rolling, we continued to follow the growth of her designs for her LC Lauren Conrad collection for Kohl's, which went from sweet and girly to sophisticated and polished, as seen on 2016 CFDA Awards red carpet when she gave us a preview of next season's designs.
9. Melissa McCarthy, Melissa McCarthy Seven7
Melissa McCarthy launched her collection Melissa McCarthy Seven7 for two reasons: 1) It's been a dream of hers to design (she dropped out of the Fashion Institute of Technology to pursue a career in comedy), and 2) Out of a personal need for chic plus-size clothing. "I wanted to make the clothes that I couldn’t find, especially for plus sizes,” she tells InStyle. "I did not want the typical ‘make things bigger, make things drapier’ approach. I wanted to make things cooler." And for these reasons, McCarthy almost exclusively wears her own designs whether it's for the 2016 Golden Gobe Awards or the New York premiere of Spy.
10. Kate Hudson, Fabletics
As a major fitness buff, Kate Hudson co-founded Fabletics with the intent to create chic workout wear at an affordable price point, giving us all the ability to exercise our right to sweat in style. And thanks to the athleisure movement, the push for easy-to-wear pieces that work beyond the gym (say, even a red carpet event) has given Fabletics a bump in growth (the brand opened six brick-and-mortar locations and launched men's line last year).