Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Celeb fashion craze hits teen market

Oh, dear. Make that Amanda Bynes, "Dear," the latest celebrity clothing line from Steve and Barry's that debuts in their stores this week, hot on the heels of Bitten, Sarah Jessica Parker's collaboration with the retailer earlier this year.

Bynes, the young all-American actress who made her name doing sketch comedy on Nickelodeon on "The Amanda Show" and recently starred as Penny Pingleton in the latest remake of John Waters' "Hairspray," was on hand on Wednesday night in New York to launch her new collection, which debuts in Steve and Barry's stores on August 16.

The collection, named "Dear," says Bynes, after the affectionate term used by older generations of women in reference to young ladies, features predictable tween looks like hoodies printed with stars and hearts, cropped cargo pants, racerback tanks for layering and skinny stretch jeans.

For a store that built their reputation on lower priced licensed apparel, both for universities and sports teams, it's not a stretch for them to extend the concept of licensing to someone like Amanda Bynes, an easily packaged starlet who may not have much of a reputation in the style or design department, but who Steve and Barry are banking will appeal to girls looking for a cheap fashion fix (all items are priced below $20) and who might otherwise be lured away from that other lower priced staple of the Seventeen magazine set, Forever 21.

Steve and Barry's, a national retail chain that operates more than 200 stores in 33 states, seems intent on doing for clothing what price clubs did for packaged goods, offering it in mass quantities at prices that make it as disposable as a 24 pack of toilet paper.

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