The Clothes Make the (Music) Man

The Gossip’s fiery front woman, Beth Ditto, just announced a fashion collaboration with Jean Paul Gaultier. It’s said to be brassy and beautiful, accentuating the natural magnificence of Rubenesque bodies.

This meeting of the minds got us thinking about other musicians’ forays into fashion. Here are some of the most notable lines:


Beth Ditto of the Gossip

From thrift-store enthusiast to soundtracker for a Dior fragrance commercial, Ditto turns heads wherever she goes. With her personal line – due February 2016 – she embraces “vintage… silks, custom prints, embroidery and Beth's first-hand understanding of fit,” according to her website. Currently, there’s a limited-edition corset T-shirt available, with part of the proceeds benefiting Girls Rock Camp Foundation. Image courtesy BT PR.


Jessica Simpson


The second-generation Daisy Duke came to fame with her golden voice, but it’s her fashion sense that has made her a billionaire (yes, billionaire). Her omnipresent threads that emphasize Americana and glamour include shoes, sunglasses and baby clothes. Image courtesy the artist.


Kim Gordon

Sonic Youth’s badass bassist also enjoyed being a seamstress— with an edge. Her ’90s line, X-Girl, exceled in print Ts (“Girls invented punk rock not England” was a highlight) and guerilla marketing. Gordon talks about its conception at length in her 2015 autobiography, Girl in a Band, where she notes her rock couture brought her more international fame than her no-wave music did. Check out Dazed’s retrospective on X-Girl for more detailsImage by Annabel Mehran.



What better name for Ms. Ciccone’s fashion line than Material Girl? (OK, maybe “Vogue,” but Anna Wintour would probably flip if she tried to poach the name.) The cross-generational company created by Madonna and daughter Lourdes relishes in faux animal prints, pleather, punky spikes and other embellishments popularized by Mama Madge in the 1980s. Image courtesy the fashion line.


Kanye West

The Louis Vuitton Don enraptures fans and enrages old-guard critics with his Yeezy collections. His selection of earth tones and loose-fitting garments has been called everything from slave wear (by Ice-T) to Jedi chic (by the Twitterverse, according to this USA Today article). Yet his collaboration with adidas, the Yeezy Boost 750, is sold out on the shoe company’s site and is re-selling for more than $3,000 on Amazon. The frenzy seems to fit, as he told SHOWstudio (via MTV) that he wants Yeezy to be “the Apple of apparel.” Image by rodrigoferrari/Wikimedia Commons.


Sean John

“We own fashion-tainment,” Sean “Diddy” Combs told Women’s Wear Daily in 2014. It’s not just braggadocio— his lifestyle brand contributes greatly to his estimated $700 million worth. It began in 1998 as a sportswear line but evolved to include eyewear, fragrances, watches, kids’ clothes, you name it. Coupled with his TV network, Revolt; his beverage partnerships and of course his musical production, he’s a mogul through and through. Image courtesy the fashion line.


Jennifer Lopez

Her fashion line for discount department store Kohl’s emphasizes that the diva is still “Jenny from the Block.” The cuts and embellishments are “fierce and functional,” as the retailer’s website puts it. Animal prints, angular shoulder fits and faux fur reign on her runway. (Her past penchant for real pelts ruffled PETA’s feathers.) Image courtesy Kohl's.


Pete Wentz

Just call the Fall Out Boy bassist the Batman of emo. His Clandestine Industries boasted a “bat heart” as a logo and focused on Hot Topic haute couture. At its inception in 2006, Wentz and his band were at the apex of punk-pop, riding high on “Sugar, We’re Goin Down.” Guyliner and studded belts ruled the day, up until 2012 when the rocker folded the company. Wentz still makes appearances at Fashion Week events, thoughImage by Ashley Rehnblom/Wikimedia Commons.



Travis Barker’s Famous Stars and Straps lives by the motto “Attitude is everything.” For the bodacious drummer, that notion fits him to a T. He seems cool as a cucumber, even when facing reality show cameras or the post-traumatic stress disorder of being the sole survivor of a plane crash. His clothing borrows from other “famous” icons such as the Ramones, Misfits and Jesus. Band mates Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge also run a punkish clothing brand, Atticus, named for the heroic attorney from To Kill a MockingbirdImage courtesy Famous Stars and Straps.


Gwen Stefani

A trendsetter since breaking big in 1995, the No Doubt sprite translated her love of fashion into two lines: the fluorescent, hip-hop-inspired L.A.M.B. and the Asian fusion of Harajuku Lovers. As of 2007, the combined revenues hover around $90 million. Plus, an animated Harajuku Lovers series is in the works, according to Hollywood Reporter via WWD. As animated as the ska singer is, a cartoon seems natural. Image courtesy L.A.M.B.

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