Economy's Innocent Victim: Celebrity Vanity Fashion LinesS

Every celebrity believes that if they unleash their genius unto the world in the form of a fashion line or fragrance, their many fans will make it a natural hit. They're so wrong.

Even the celebrities who do theoretically have a level of fame sufficiently high enough to provoke a large number of fans to buy their branded tennis skirts or perfume or t-shirts or other crap are seeing their projects fold. The smarter ones just do endorsements; for the greedy ones who couldn't do without their very own brand, business sucks right now. Thanks to the recession (they hope).

Even celeb lines that were selling well have been pummeled. Low-price retailer Steve and Barry's went bankrupt last November and will liquidate all 270 of its stores this year, leaving Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line of clothing — perceived to have been a hit — without a retail partner, at least for the foreseeable future. Other Steve and Barry's refugees include Amanda Bynes' Dear line, tennis star Venus Williams' Eleven and surfer Laird Hamilton's Wonderwall.

Not Sarah Jessica Parker's Bitten line of clothing! Daisy Fuentes is struggling, too! And LL Cool J's Sears line might even go out of business, now that it's, uh, done its job of saving the company. The only way to be successful now is to be smart. Rip people off:

Pop star Gwen Stefani's fragrance Harajuku Lovers is technically more expensive than her first top-tier scent, L, but is being sold in bottles five times smaller than the industry standard, and therefore at lower prices per unit. Harajuku Lovers, launched in September, quickly broke into the top 10 fragrances this holiday season.

Math! [Ad Age]