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Candie’s, the brand responsible for those high-heeled wooden mules that clomped their way through malls across the country in the ‘80s and ‘90s, has always done a solid job of choosing its campaign stars. Over the past decade, Britney Spears, Destiny’s Child, Hilary Duff, Fifth Harmony, and Lea Michele have all repped the company. But this morning, Candie’s announced its newest face, the remarkably on-brand Sarah Hyland, would be taking on an additional role — that of creative director. This appointment is newsworthy for two reasons: Not only is this position a new one, but it also suggests that Hyland’s day job (acting, of course) leaves her with enough free time to “influence everything from product development to campaign mood and direction” for a global fashion company, according to this morning’s press release.
“The creative director part is what drew me to this the most because Candie’s has never done it and I’ve never done it,” Hyland tells WWD, which is sort of like saying you’d like to be chief tasting officer at Ben & Jerry’s (seriously, are they looking for someone?).
To be sure, this isn’t the first time a celebrity with minimal design experience has been named creative director of a fashion label — Rihanna’s role at Puma and Lindsay Lohan’s short-lived turn at Emanuel Ungaro immediately spring to mind — but still, it’s interesting that 25-year-old Hyland immediately bypassed the ranks of, say, “brand ambassador” or “creative consultant.”
“We’ve normally just had a face for the brand, but we’ve evolved Sarah’s role into a more integrated one because she’s a fashion authority in her own right,” Katie Reeves, vice president of brand management for the women’s division at Candie’s parent company Iconix Brands Group, tells WWD. Hyland will be starring in and styling campaigns for the company’s fall 2016 and spring 2017 collections, and will have design and conceptual input in the latter. As for how she plans to carry out her directorial duties for Candie’s while shooting the upcoming Dirty Dancing remake? "I’m not sure if they will send me stuff or we’ll have phone calls, but I will definitely have to bring my computer to do work outside of the movie," she tells WWD.