This Just In: Artists Who Don’t Sell Many Records Even Less Likely To Sell Lots Of Clothing

noah | February 5, 2009 1:00 am

Ad Age reports that celebrities trying to earn some extra scratch from their name’s wattage might want to start looking somewhere that isn’t a fashion “partnership” with a retail outlet, what with the economy continuing its long, slow swoon and chains all over the country struggling to keep their lights on. Tough break, musicians who want to avenge those rejected FIT applications!

There are a few lines that are seem to have some life left in them, like Avril Lavigne‘s inexplicably still-going Abbey Dawn and Sheryl Crow‘s Bootheel Trading Company. But the vaguely associated, kinda-pointless lines devoted to lower-tier outfits and brokered through exclusive arrangements with nationwide chains—Exhibit A: the Plain White T’s collection for Kohl’s—have been banished to the clearance rack.

At troubled retailer Sears, where same-store sales were down 12.8% last December, fashion insiders say rapper-cum-clothier LL Cool J‘s apparel line is hanging by a thread, now being advertised at up to 50% off online.

Sears declined to comment on sales of the collection, which was announced only last May. “At this point, we are still offering [the line] for fall back-to-school,” a Sears spokeswoman said, adding, “We’re working on the assortments right now and might edit some things as we see what’s resonating.”

If Cool James fails at Sears, he won’t be alone in the cold. Ashley Judd launched the Ashley Judd line of apparel at 355 Goody’s stores in 20 states in 2007. By the start of this month, Goody’s was being liquidated, and the rights to Ms. Judd’s clothing line were being auctioned off along with Goody’s bankrupted stores. It’s unclear whether the actress will attempt to launch a new one elsewhere. Ms. Judd, through her spokeswoman, declined to comment for this article.

The one person who’s doing well in all this? Gwen Stefani, who just launched a perfume that seems cheaper than her other fragrances, but only because it comes in a smaller bottle than the other items in her line. And you just thought she was a genius for sampling “The Lonely Goatherd”!

Retailers Leave Celebrity Brands Stranded [Ad Age via Gawker]