Hip Hop icon LL Cool J has joined the list of celebrities whose forays into the fashion world have produced less than stellar results. Advertising Age reports the rapper/actor's signature apparel line is being advertised at up to 50 percent off the suggested retail price online. LL teamed with the Sears in May of 2008 [click to read]. According to Nielsen, Sears spent almost $500 million on advertising last year, but still saw their sales decline by $2.2 million.
The news of LL Cool J's sales decline comes on the heels of Outkast's Andre 3000 suffering similar losses at Barney's with his high end Benjamin Bixby line [click to read]. However, the failure of celebrity-endorsed apparel is not limited to the Hip Hop world.
"Even before the economy went bad, the market became oversaturated with celebrity brands," Stardust Visions' CEO Victoria Brynner tells Advertising Age. Stardust has brokered endorsement deals for Scarlett Johansson, and Katherine Heigl.
During 2007, celebs such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Amanda Bynes, Venus Williams and Ashley Judd have all seen their clothing lines fold, due to poor sales and/or loss of a distributor. In the meantime, Sears has not totally given up on Hip Hop's self-proclaimed "greatest of all time."
"At this point, we are still offering [the line] for fall back-to-school," a Sears spokeswoman explained. "We're working on the assortments right now and might edit some things as we see what's resonating."
However, all is not bad for the legendary Queens emcee. Entertainment Weekly and the Hollywood Reporter state LL Cool J is in final talks to appear on the forthcoming "NCIS" spin-off on CBS. The action drama would naturally take its cues from the current installment, which focuses on an eight-person team that handles criminal investigations for the US Navy.
"The 41-year-old LL is circling the role of Sam Hanna, an ex-Navy SEAL who recently completed stints in both Afghanistan and Iraq," says Entertainment Weekly's Michael Ausiello. "[Chris] O'Donnell and LL would be the first actors to climb aboard the high profile project; four other roles are still being cast."