Monday, July 18, 2011

SJP and Halston call it Quits & Bieber Fever Gets a Fragrance

Sarah Jessica Parker's role as Carrie Bradshaw in Sex and the City catapulted her to iconic A-list celebrity status in the world of fashion, so much so that it became a major part of her career outside of acting. In January of 2010 she was made president and creative director of Halston's Heritage line - pieces from the fashion houses' archive reinterpreted at a lower price - but it was recently revealed in her August 2011 interview with Vogue that the 18-month relationship has come to an end.

Vogue revealed: 'When Sex and the City, to her own surprise, made her a fashion star, she launched her own design label and perfumes, as well as signing on to run the Halston Heritage label, a relationship that recently came to an end.'

The parting of ways seems more financial than unfriendly. The line is said to have been struggling to stay afloat for quit some time now, made apparent this past spring when most of the sales team was laid off. Six months into Parker signing on, CEO Bonnie Takhar, who was to assist the actress with her role, was said to have been dismissed. Parker found herself working 16-hour days overseeing designs and marketing, calling it all a 'learning experience'.

More financial woes hit the company when film mogul Harvey Weinstein announced he was looking to sell his 10% stake in the brand for $1-1.5 million.

“I was very interested in pursuing a diversified business model that went beyond entertainment, and my involvement in Halston reflected that,” he said in a statement. “But over the past year I realized that I wanted to concentrate my energies on entertainment.”

Trying to ensure a return on his investment, he hired the likes of Tamara Mellon and Rachel Zoe to be creative consultants. Marios Scwhab was brought on to design the main collection while Parker assumed the same role for Halston Heritage.

But as more news of the story broke, so did the silence on what's been going on behind the scenes. Apparently neither Harvey or SJP seemed to get along too well with Hilco Consumer Capital, the liquidation firm who took control of the label in 2007 for $25 million. They were hoping to revive the brand to its more lucrative decades of the '70s and '80s but when it started to look like that wasn't going to happen, the arguments - and screaming matches - ensued over management teams, expenses and the company’s overall structure.

But don't feel too bad for the starlet. Though she won't get the $10 million left on her 4-year contract, she will get a $3 million payout and an exit from the remainder of her contract.

Many were rooting for Parker to succeed in the position despite her lack of knowledge on how to operate a fashion brand or be a designer.

“You could make many arguments as to why I am not qualified. I would say that I am very aware of the enormity of the titles, and how important they are, and my response is that they (the board) felt confident in their decision," Parker said in an interview around the time the deal was first announced.

'There is a huge amount I don't know and I am very candid about that, and I am excited to learn," Parker said last year in an interview. "There are going to be things that come up that I am equipped to deal with and answer and respond to... I have no allergy to learning."

Parker in Halston Heritage

Yet, despite her gung-ho attitude and multiple Halston Heritage outfits worn in the second Sex and the City film, it would seem clear that once again the point has been made that being a fashionable celebrity does not make you a fashion designer.


In other, somewhat relatable fashion news, Justin Bieber's newest venture, a women's fragrance called "Someday by Justin Bieber" has had a record breaking sales debut. Three weeks into the "fruity gourmand" blend fragrance's appearance in department stores nationwide and its already seen sales over $3 million, making it an early prediction, but strong contender for being the best fragrance seller of 2011!

“Let’s be real, the way a girl smells is very important to a guy. I have such a deep connection with my fans, so creating a fragrance that I personally love is another way I can bring them close to my world,” the 17-year-old told Women's Wear Daily.

The fragrance was marketed towards the core of Biber's fan base - tween girls between 14- to 18-years-old - and as the numbers show, anything Bieber creates his fans have to have.

"We haven't seen anything like this since [Jennifer Lopez's] Glow and [Britney Spears'] Curious,"
industry analyst Karen Grant told Women's Wear Daily.

The fragrance also surpassed Beyonce Knowles's "Heat", with its three weeks sales besting what took her sales a solid month to reach.

This isn't Bieber's first foray into beauty. He teamed up with Nicole by O.P.I. for a nail polish collection and then created scented dog tags and bracelets. The "One Less Lonely Girl" nail polish line was also a much talked about success, selling out in Walmart's across the country. The tags and bracelets seem like a test run in comparison to the perfume's success.

"They really let me take the lead on the entire project, because I know my fans better than anyone," Bieber went on to say in another interview.

Although there is one fashion designer not likely to be a fan of the fragrance. Marc Jacobs, and many industry insiders, noticed the similarity between Bieber's "Someday" and Jacobs' "Lola" bottle designs.

"We just had a conversation about it," Jacobs told WWD. "Coty said, "Do we sue them?" and I said, "You know what? Let everyone else say what they want." I received Google [Alerts] about people saying it was derivative. We're not going to do anything about it."

Someday ($35-$55) fragrance, as well as a hair mist ($20) and body lotion ($25),
is available at retailers including Macy's, Sephora, Belk and Dillard's.

A portion of the proceeds of "Someday" go toward Pencils of Promise - a philanthropy that builds schools - and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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1 comment:

  1. That's a shame. I was hoping for some great things from SJP & Halston Heritage. I think if it had worked out and gone the way of the 70's boho themes that it could have been really great.