Full disclosure: Ellen Degeneres can do no wrong in my book. I love her. I love her dance moves, her jokes, her undeniably adorable banter with Sophia Grace and Rosie. Still, I was still skeptical when I read that she’s launching a lifestyle brand with Chris Burch (you know, Tory’s ex and the guy behind C. Wonder).
To be a celebrity isn’t enough anymore. You can’t just act on TV or appear in movies or be a singer. You’ve got to be a lifestyle brand, too, and convince your public (most of whom are avid fans anyway, thus not needing much convincing) that in between table reads and recording sessions you also slave over a sewing machine and travel the world to find the finest essential oils for your perfume.
The number of celebs who’ve slapped their names onto a line of clothing or shoes or perfumes or furniture is staggering. To discover that Ellen, my Ellen, was tacking her golden name to a list that includes Lauren Conrad, Selena Gomez, Jessica Simpson was alarming. NAY, I shouted (in my head).
The name of company is E.D. (pronounced ‘Ed,’ a nickname given to Ellen by her wife, Portia), and Ellen is planning for it to be big. Like, total new-career big. She tells WWD:
“I’m not trying to launch a little boutique situation. This is my next phase. The show is the show and when I someday decide to stop doing the show, my entire focus is going to be design.”
An E.D. home decor capsule collection, set to launch in late October/early November, will give shoppers a taste of what’s to come: a full home and garden line, men’s and women’s fashion and accessories, and pet goods. And Ellen’s got the dream team to make it come to life, including Burch and Marisa Gardini (formerly the president and CEO of Isaac Mizrahi). It seems such a vast undertaking — that’s enough categories to stock an entire freaking department store — that it could be only destined for failure, right?
Not quite. The part that makes me semi-okay with this (and maybe even a tiny bit excited?) is the fact that Ellen’s got pretty impressive design chops. Forgot chatty segments with cute singing children; when it comes to real estate, Ellen’s a bonafide genius. (Just last week, she made $15 million flipping a house she bought in January.) Plus, did you see her ranch in Elle Decor last year? It’s amazing. I want everything. Even the horse barn! And I don’t even like horses!
It’s seems like a no-fail equation: her well-honed design skills plus Burch’s business prowess equal billions of dollars in sales. Hey, if Jessica Simpson can run a billion-dollar fashion empire after wearing stuff like this, then the sky’s the limit for E.D.