Top Musicians Turned Designers

September 16, 2012 By:
Top Musicians Turned Designers

In the fashion world, it’s not all that uncommon to hear a lauded designer say how their brand is consistently inspired by music. Vivienne Westwood is always referencing the London punk scene of the ‘60s, every Betsey Johnson collection looks like the equivalent of an unreleased Cyndi Lauper B-side, and Marc Jacob’s notorious debut with Perry Ellis brought the era’s grunge movement to the cutting edge of the catwalk.

However, there are a lot of musicians these days who are playing the opposite tune—turning in their instruments for sewing machines to hit some new notes on the runway.

Here are five of the most successful transitions to date…

Victoria Beckham

Let’s just get this out of the way and start with the reigning queen of the music-to-mod career transition…

The former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham proved she was no “Wannabe” when her self-named label hit the runway for the first time at 2008 New York Fashion Week. Every collection since has been met with generally positive reviews and she’s praised for being involved in the whole process—not just stitching her name onto something and giving hand-me-down press release-y statements about the endeavor.

Her name was Posh, so it was basically destiny.

Avril Lavigne

Abbey Dawn is Avril’s new fashion line and quintessentially celebrates everything about what made the Canadian singer such a smash in the ‘00s.

Unabashedly sk8r gurl, the label is a confetti explosion of punk-pop inspiration—a mash up of Joan Jett, cross-bone prints, and Lindsay Lohan’s style in that Freaky Friday remake.

As long as there are teenage chicks out there who want their wardrobes to look like Avril had a “Complicated” relationship with their closets, the sun won’t be setting on Abbey Dawn any time soon.

Jessica Simpson

The Jessica Simpson Collection is looking to dominate a shopping mall near you.

It’s carried in 650 department stores across the United States and projected to hit the $1 billion mark any day, which would make the label the first celebrity-owned clothing line in history to earn a billion in annual sales.

Guess she’s not such a dumb blond after all, but a savvy businesswoman to boot. A boot from the Jessica Simpson Collection no doubt.

Gwen Stefani

When No Doubt hit the mainstream with “Don’t Speak” in ’96 and Gwen stepped out gripping a microphone like a boss in a crop-top-swimsuit-bra get-up, the world took those two words seriously. We all stopped talking for a hot minute, hypnotized by her washboard abdominals.

With abs like Gwen’s, they pretty much give you the courage to attempt anything. Like fashion, for instance.

In 2004, L.A.M.B. (“Love. Angel. Music. Baby.”) was launched, inspired by the various cultures that also inspiremuch of the entertainer’s music. Gwen, ever self-aware, seems to celebrate the tongue-in-cheek excess of celebrity culture with the line, which is partly what made it such a hit.

It currently makes annual earnings of $90 million. NBD.