How prophetic that Madonna, who proclaimed her desire to "Dress You Up" in her 1985 song of the same name, is actually doing it.
Her hotly anticipated junior collection, aptly named Material Girl (for the '84 megahit), designed with 13-year-old daughter Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon, debuts this week at Macy's.
Quirky-cute and some of it soundly smacking of vintage Madge, the well-priced, 119-piece line includes everything from tube tops ($5) to flirty floral dresses ($32) to accessories like a multi-strand chain ($18), a flat suede boot, ($39), and a green and silver camo purse ($20).
The collection is "appropriate for any girl from mid to late teens or early 20s," says Macy's executive vice president of merchandising Rob Smith, noting that Lourdes (known as Lola) played a key creative role. "Madonna is the ultimate style icon, and she is the businesswoman you think she would be, but Lola has a real sense of style." During the design process, Smith says, "Lola would go through her own closet and pull some of her favorite clothes." (Some of these faves were apparently poached from Mom's closet. Hey, teenagers are teenagers.)
In fact, Lola herself weighs in on the collection via a feisty, rather sweet blog (macys.com/materialgirl) complete with what seems to be some real teen talk - "reee-heeaally" - though one imagines there's more than a bit of adult collaboration, as in the phrase "effortlessly chic."
Madonna, who appears in the 2010 spring advertising campaign for Dolce & Gabbanna has made fashion headlines before - think cone-shaped bras. And this is not her first foray into fashion. In 2007, she created a line for H&M, "M by Madonna," which did not receive all-around raves but sold out just the same.
Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst of the NPD Group, a market research organization in Port Washington, says, "I love the concept. They've gone multigenerational. We've got the ultimate material girl, someone who's been setting trends all her life, and the addition of the younger generation. Even if you were against Madonna from way back, now she's a mom with a daughter."
And if that weren't enough, Macy's has added a celebrity muse to the already famous mix - "Gossip Girl's" Taylor Momsen, 17. The broody teen models the clothes on the website and appears in ads. She looks eerily like Madonna - now - only dressed like the pop star did back in the day. Martine Reardon, Macy's executive vice president of marketing, says that while the collection is all about Lola's personal style and point of view, "Taylor is everything this juniors collection represents - fearless, fashionable and fun."
Britney Spears' line for Candies is no oops
BY ANNE BRATSKEIR, Special to Newsday
Britney Spears, once merely "the face" of Candies, is designer and inspiration for the new Britney for Candies line introduced in July and sold exclusively at Kohl's. The tweens-and-up collection of sassy separates and dresses ranging from $14 to $78 is reportedly flying off the racks. Brit has a hit.
According to Lainie List, the executive vice president of merchandising for the Iconix Brand Group, which owns the brand, the collection mirrors the pop star's own personal style. "She's not always done up," says List, adding that customers are particularly responding to "clothes we see her wear a lot," such as a super-short dress over leggings or tights, short shorts and a top of layered ruffles. "There's a California chic girliness that she's known for," List says. As for sales? "Fantastic."
Running more toward country chic and perhaps skewed a little younger is the sweet Miley Cyrus & Max Azria collection for Wal-Mart. Everything is $20 or less and looks include denim shorts, floral printed Western shirts and slim leggings.
The line "has rock-and-roll roots with mainstream appeal," says a spokesman for Azria's company. "The pieces were designed to be mix-and-match so that a wide range of looks can be created to reflect individuality, personal taste and self-expression."
Another release for Lindsay Lohan: Her clothing line
BY ANNE BRATSKEIR, Special to Newsday
OK, so virtually everybody knows that Lindsay Lohan traded in her trendy duds for an orange jail jumpsuit - and who knows what she's wearing in rehab. But how will the negative publicity affect her newly expanded fashion line, 6126 by Lindsay Lohan?
Overall, experts think the 24/7 exposure of La Lohan's plight will be good for the brand. In this case, "any news could be good news," says Marshal Cohen, chief retail analyst of market research group NPD. "American consumers love a comeback story."
The collection, which has gone from leggings-only to a full selection of ready-to wear for fall 2010, has an edgy-sexy-chic vibe and is naturally party girl friendly. (Hey, isn't that what got her into the orange jumpsuit in the first place?) Standouts include a lace corset ($88), metallic sequin shorts ($242) and studded short leather jacket ($616). Available at stores including Neiman Marcus and at 6126bylindsay lohan.com.