Celebrity Entrepreneurship – Turning designers

Celebrities like actors and actresses’ venturing into entrepreneurial ventures is nothing new. Be it Hollywood celebs or superstars from our neighboring Bollywood – we have seen examples by the dozen where individuals have sought to secure their future earnings.
Forbes recently put together a list of business savvy celebrities in the West and even the Bollywood celebrities from our neighboring India have been investing in various fields like e-commerce! Frankly I am impressed by their acumen, foresight and creativity.
So why should a celeb in Pakistan be any different …? A celebrity is a “brand” in its own right, which is why they are branching out into these other domains.
And honestly speaking there is nothing wrong with the entire concept of securing one’s future while all the pomp and glory is surrounding them. We have all seen cases like the Late Mehdi Hasan and Alamgir where in their hay day there was money coming in while the fame lasted, but in the later stages of their lives they have had to seek charity to survive!
But what has completely left me in confusion is why do all celebrities in our dear Pakistan end up becoming a fashion designer? Be it a singer, model, cricketer or actor … they all end up selling us clothes in one way or another. For God’s sake … in some cases they are not even the best dressed or the most stylish people around us!! (Just saying)
The latest to join this bandwagon in Pakistan is Humsafar fame – Fawad Khan … who has launched a clothing line called SILK … which Khan calls “… a humble attempt to branch away from the lawn focus and instead pioneer a new focus on premium fabric” (double duh!!)
However the reality of Pakistan is clothing is BIG business and easy money – so why not cash in on the bandwagon. Hire a few young (freshly graduated) designers; get a few mass retailers on board, produce the line and ‘Cha Ching’!! If the returns are good … move into retailing and even setup your own production house and you end up owning the entire production cycle …
Now the question is why do consumers go for these brands … and I sum it down to the following reasons:
-          Product endorsement by an individual known (to the masses!)
-          People feel closer to the celebrity by purchasing them (there is always a possibility that the star actually had something to do with the product other than leading their name!)
-          Fans get a sense of achievement as trendsetters
-          We just love to shop for clothes as a nation … and a celebrity brand launching is just another reason to go and buy more clothes
So how does this all evolve? Personally I am more excited about the future when our celebs will move away from the ‘designer’ bandwagon and start investing into some newer, more exciting and promising areas …! Or would a few failures disrupt this whole trend?


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