Earlier this year, something amazing happened for female gym rats: Beyoncé announced that she will be launching her own line of athletic wear, Ivy Park. While it was a win for all members of her “beehive” fan base, Queen B isn’t breaking new ground. In fact, several A-Listers have tried their luck in the fashion industry, especially menswear. Some succeeded, some failed, and some have done both — we’re looking at you, Kanye West. Who’s in the mood for a throwback? We are! Read on to learn more about five celebrities who have doubled as menswear designers.
1. Adam Levine
Singer, actor, modelizer, and designer. Sure, Adam Levine may not present a new collection each season at fashion week; however, he does have some fashion chops on his resume. According to TheRichest, the Maroon 5 frontman partnered with Kmart to create a 96-piece menswear collection in 2013. Consider it a budgeted extension of the rocker’s very own closet: Field jackets, flannels, beanies, and black skinny jeans were all part of the debut collaboration. But this one wasn’t just another celebrity-endorsed flop. The line was actually so successful, it was carried to another season and featured womenswear.
2. Justin Timberlake
If his smash-hit “Suit and Tie” is any indication, this boy band hero turned pop star has a penchant for fashion. So perhaps it’s no surprise that Timberlake joined forces with longtime friend Trace Ayala to create William Rast, a collection of ready-to-wear apparel and denim for both sexes. From printed bombers, to luxe sweatpants, to the inevitable suit and tie combination, the brand features elevated pieces that can transition from day to night. Like what you see? Well you’re in luck, the collection is still sold at several department stores such as Lord & Taylor.
3. Pharrell Williams
Though we all associate the “Happy” singer with his gigantuous Vivienne Westwood hat from 2014, Pharrell Williams’s design specialty actually lies in footwear. Last year, the fashion icon teamed up with of-the-moment street sneaker brand Adidas to debut their classic Superstar silhouette in 50 cheery colorways, plus several funky prints and metallic iterations. With hues such as pumpkin, tinted mauve, and just about everything in between, we might as well call it Pharrell and the Technicolor Dream Shoe. And that’s not all: Bloomberg reported that Pharrell’s collaboration earned more than Kanye West’s coveted collection with the brand. Yeezy, we’re gonna let you finish, but we think Pharrell had the best sneaker line of all time.
The hip-hop mogul seems to have everything: A pricey alcohol company, fancy yacht, and at least five nicknames. Oh yeah, and he has a fashion line. In true Diddy fashion, what started as a men’s sportswear line in 1998 has officially morphed into a full-fledged empire: suiting, fragrance, hosiery, children’s clothes, and footwear. You say it, his eponymous label Sean John has it. It’s not surprising that the brand’s website reports $525 million in annual retail sales, but some may be shocked to hear that Sean Jean as actually received kudos from the industry. In 2004, Diddy received the CFDA “Perry Ellis Menswear Designer of the Year Award.”
5. Kanye West
Naturally, no roundup of celebrities turned menswear designers would be complete without mentioning Kanye West. With a quick scroll through his Twitter feed, you may get the feeling that Mr. West thinks of himself as the fashion gods’ gift to the industry. Opinions aside, the rapper’s sartorial career is taking off. Not only did his Yeezy Boosts, a collaboration of luxe sneaker with Adidas sell out almost instantly, West also held a show earlier this year for his street brand Yeezy, which doubled as a listening party for his album, with approximately 18,000 editors, tastemakers, and fans at Madison Square Garden. Additionally, West previously collaborated with big brands such as Louis Vuitton, Nike, and A.P.C. But let’s not forget that his fashion career wasn’t always such a goldmine: The rapper struggled with an eponymous womenswear line in 2011, which quickly closed down after only one year.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs