Monday, August 20, 2007

Should I wear what Jessica Simpson's wearing?

Marketers are working to make us look like Jessica Simpson. (Have they seen my mug shot?)

Locally, Simpson wraps production on "Major Movie Star" Thursday.

Here's a snippet from a press release I received today: "Delivery Agent, Inc. the leader in shopping-enabled programming for television shows, motion pictures, sports and publishing, and JT Entertainment announced today an exclusive partnership that connects Jessica Simpson fans with more than 500 products from her life in the spotlight through a Simpson-branded e-commerce destination at ( available directly at ( Fans will be able to emulate Simpson, one of this decade’s most sought after style icons, by purchasing products from all aspects of her celebrity lifestyle, including apparel, accessories and her upcoming fragrance line."

Simpson isn't the only one being positioned as a product delivery device. If you watched Desperate Housewives last night, you can drive Gabrielle's Maserati. You can wear boots inspired by the Pussycat Dolls. You can hide from the cameras at your high school reunion by wearing Victoria Beckham's sunglasses.

I'm not shocked about how overtly commercial the celebrity image has become. Fashion magazines have been reporting on what celebrities have been wearing for years, and national TV morning shows love to feature stylists showing us how to dress like the "it girl" du jour.

What's odd to me, in this instance, is publicizing Simpson's strategy to enter into an "exclusive partnership" with Seen On. It plainly suggests that whenever she's appearing in front of a camera, she's selling something.

I know this type of brand marketing is far from controversial or new, but I'd like to hear what you think.

Are you comfortable or uncomfortable with this exclusive partnership?

Should fashion trends be determined by contracts or public opinion?

Does this change the way you see candid celebrity photographs?

Have you ever bought something because it was seen on a celebrity?

Photo: Jessica Simpson poses backstage at MTV's Times Square Studios, Oct. 4, 2006, in New York. (AP Photo/Paul Hawthorne)


m said...

A) Yes, you should wear what J.S. is wearing. The green would bring out your eyes.

B) I guess I'm unclear about what this "exclusive partnership" entails. As for JS selling her image through SeenON ... I think it's silly more than discomfiting.

C) Despite the contract involved here, fashion trends will always be determined by public opinion. Once JS loses the interest of whatever demographic it is that finds her worthy of emulation, the products will lose their appeal.

D) Celebrities like JS are ALWAYS selling something. Paris Hilton's mugshot was selling something. Maybe it's better that they're actually being open about their commodified lives and lifestyles? So, I guess, no, I won't look at candid shots differently.

E) I think when I was in sixth grade,we all bought these weird punched out pointy boot things. I think they were popularized by Madonna. My brother bought a Michael Jackson jacket when he was in eighth grade ... but he claims it had nothing to do with the prince of pop and more to do with how cool it was. Currently, celebrity couture frightens me. I feel uncomfortable with painting my toenails. And if I had a small yappy dog, I definitely would not carry it around in a small yappy purse.

Alexandyr Kent said...

I wanted to buy a Smurf hat but could never find one.

m said...

I formed a Smurf Club during the second grade ...

Alexandyr Kent said...

I also wanted Hans Solo's vest. And Indiana Jones' hat. And Bill Murray's ghostbuster jumpsuit. I dressed up as Johnny Carson at Halloween. I bought the shades worn by Tom Cruise in "Risky Business." My mom yelled at me when I said I wanted the cigarette truck from "Beverly Hills Cop."

Beat that.

m said...

I wanted Wonder Woman's lasso and Jamie Summers' dog, Max. And Captain Apollo's son's robot teddy-bear thing. And, occasionally, Twinkie. Beady beady beady.

And I just learned that my brain is, apparently, using the bulk of its memory capacity on the Christopher Reeve Superman movies. Name a scene and I can pinpoint something obscure about the mise-en-scene. It's a talent, really.