Star power

The celebrity home­ware range is a phe­nom­e­non that’s on the rise. But it’s rarely all it’s cracked up to be, says Amy Brad­ford

ELLE Decoration (UK) - - Style | Design - Il­lus­tra­tion BABETH LAFON

2016 was a funny old year. We had po­lit­i­cal calami­ties aplenty,

im­prob­a­ble num­bers of pop star deaths and Kanye West beg­ging Swedish fur­ni­ture store Ikea – via Twit­ter, natch – to let him de­sign a bed­room col­lec­tion. Once you’d re­cov­ered from the weird vi­sion of multi-mil­lion­aire Yeezus tak­ing a trip round Ikea in search of in­te­ri­ors in­spi­ra­tion, the idea that this col­lab­o­ra­tion might ac­tu­ally hap­pen be­came fright­en­ingly real. Thank­fully, Ikea re­sponded with a pitch-per­fect joky tweet that seemed to de­flect the threat – a spoof ‘ Yeezy’ ex­tend­able bed­frame ref­er­enc­ing West’s video for his track Fa­mous (which, in case you’ve been asleep for the past 12 months, de­picted a pa­rade of celebs ly­ing in an enor­mously wide bed).

We can’t be sure we’re safe, though. Celebrity home­ware ranges are ev­ery­where and, judg­ing by the speed with which they pro­lif­er­ate, they’re sell­ing. You can buy bed­li­nen en­crusted all over with sil­ver se­quins by Kylie Minogue at House of Fraser (imag­ine the pil­low­face; all the same, it’s one of the store’s high­est-sell­ing bed­ding brands). Very.co.uk of­fers up de­cid­edly twee faux-louis picture frames and er­satz crys­tal chan­de­liers as part of TV pre­sen­ter Fearne Cot­ton’s home range. Su­per-blog­ger Zoella has been more trend- savvy with her cop­per and pale-pink life­style col­lec­tion, but we must draw a veil over Justin Tim­ber­lake’s ill-fated ‘Home Mint’ line, which sold ‘French chic’ cro­chet cush­ion cov­ers and dis­pensed daily de­sign tips on ‘melon-coloured ac­cents’ and why you should saw old suit­cases in half and turn them into shelves. (The range was un­veiled in 2012, but beat a quiet re­treat shortly af­ter­wards.)

Other home col­lec­tions by Myleene Klass, Anthea Turner, Cindy Craw­ford, Lionel Richie ( yes, re­ally – turns out he loves a bit of fine bone china and crys­tal glass­ware) and Ellen Degeneres con­tinue to sell. Truth be told, the Amer­i­cans do this sort of thing much more slickly than us Brits: Degeneres’ line, ‘ED By Ellen’, is a proper life­style range, coastal-preppy in feel, well shot and stylishly pre­sented. In­ter­views with Degeneres, and the pub­li­ca­tion of her book Home in 2015, re­veal that she has a gen­uine ap­pre­ci­a­tion of de­sign and can fairly be ac­quit­ted on the charge of just ‘slap­ping her name on things’ (the slur that Zoella has an­grily re­futed). But of how many stars can we say the same? When Kate Moss de­signs clothes for Top­shop, we ap­plaud her style and busi­ness sense; but when she cre­ates the in­te­rior of a luxury rental home for de­sign com­pany Yoo, we can’t help but won­der what her cre­den­tials are.

It’s also hard to shake the im­pres­sion that very few celebri­ties have any real de­sign in­put in these col­lec­tions. If they’re sim­ply pick­ing bought-in items from a list and stick­ing their ‘ brand’ on them, why should we be in­ter­ested? To do any­thing prop­erly, you have to do it with in­tegrity. And re­ally, we all know Kanye’s not sleep­ing on an Ikea bed, don’t we?

You can buy bed­li­nen en­crusted all over with sil­ver se­quins by Kylie Minogue at House of Fraser (imag­ine the pil­low-face)

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