The Celebrity Fashion Designer

Manolo says, the Manolo’s internet friends at the Runway Scoop have called his attention to this article in the Observer, entilted Celebrity labels are ‘taking the invention out of fashion’.

Paying celebrities to design collections for high street store chains is an empty marketing ploy that is stifling innovation, warns one of the country’s leading fashion retailers.

George Davies, the inspiration behind Next, George at Asda and Marks and Spencer’s Per Una range, says that the high street’s obsession with launches by the likes of Kate Moss and Madonna is short-changing customers.


‘I haven’t got time for this new fashion for celebrity culture in the design world,’ [Davies] said. ‘These celebrity clothing lines are being done for publicity. It’s all about how much hype can be got from the launch.

‘Celebrities should keep to what they are good at, which is walking down catwalks. It makes no difference that they love clothes. I love driving Ferraris, but that doesn’t mean I could design one, and I wouldn’t even try.’

Davies criticises shops that link themselves to celebrities on a long-term basis, like Moss and Topshop, as well as those who get fashion designers to create ranges for the high street, such as H&M’s involvement with Stella McCartney, Karl Lagerfeld and Viktor & Rolf, or Sainsbury’s link with Anya Hindmarch and the This Is Not a Plastic Bag shopping bag.

‘This is a tough job,’ Davies said. ‘Designers have to have vision, which is a rare commodity. They also absolutely have to stay hands-on, which is very difficult. I put 500 new designs in my Per Una line every month and I still have the designs and printing blocks for every one of them.

‘If you look at the past instances of celebrity designs, they don’t create anything that survives the test of time,’ said Davies, who is giving a speech on fashion at De Montfort University, Leicester, this week.

This is mostly correct. While it is possible to imagine that there are those who could design beautiful clothing with little or no formal training, it would be as unusual as the self-trained architect building the masterpiece; not impossible but rare.

But then the rise of the celebrity designer has nothing to do with the art of fashion design and everything to do with the art of marketing. The big names can draw the big crowds and make the big money. It is as simple as that.

This (especially the “celebrity” shoe designers) is something the Manolo has been talking about for many years now, and suspects that he will still be talking about for many years into the future.


Soles4Souls and the Celebrity Shoes

Manolo says, the Piperlime is sponsoring the big eBay sale to benefit the most worthy charity, Soles4Souls. Here is their mission statement.

We have a simple mission: to impact as many lives as possible with the gift of shoes. We are partnering with charities and governments around the world to provide a basic (yet indispensable) gift that most of us take for granted.

You can help us in many ways: donating your own shoes, donating cash for freight, hosting a shoe drive, or even donating your time as a volunteer. As shoe industry professionals, we are working hard to use the resources at our disposal to make a difference — but we need your help (and your shoes) to reach out to the world.

How may you help?

Well, the Manolo would tell you to simply send the moneys, however, you may also wish to indulge your celebrity worshiping by participating in the charity eBay auction featuring shoes which had previously belong to the famosos such as Lucy Liu, Barbara Mandrell, and the Wayne Gretzky

Sharon Stone

Look! Here are the Sharon Stone’s Dior Pumps!

There are many more up for the auction at the eBay. Go now, it is for the good cause.


All Natural

Manolo says, someone remind the Manolo, why is this sad person famous?

Previously, Trout Pout.


Shoes for the Medical Student

Manolo says, one of the Manolo’s internet friends has asked him the question.

Dear Manolo,

I’m a 22 year-old medical student who enjoys dressing up even for lectures, anatomy labs, and late-night study groups. What shoes would you recommend pairing with a pleated, knee-length, deep mustard-yellow, silk skirt? I don’t want to be asked if I’m heading to a black-tie gala, but still wish to elicit sighs of envy from from the most bleary-eyed colleague fueled by red-bull and coffee.

Thank you!


The Manolo salutes this super fantastic young doctor in the making. Truly she is meant to be one of the Manolo’s Posse!

Yes, the Manolo questions of the wisdom of wearing the yellow silk skirt to the the dissection, but if his friend is truly in the attention-getting mood (and her student loans and/or parents have been generous) the Manolo would suggest these plum colored sandals from the Celine. They are on sale, more than 40% off of the normal price!

364991 by Celine    Manolo Likes!  Click!


Yet More Shoes of the Van Gogh

Manolo says, more evidence that beauty may be found in the mundane.

Previously, Shoes of the Van Gogh