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Earlier this week, the retail licensing company Epic Rights announced it was striking a deal with pop music icon Britney Spears to debut a fashion line. The collection, slated for 2019, will include clothing, accessories, fitness apparel, and electronics — and, the company made sure to note in its press release, will have direct input from the pop princess herself.
Britney was also recently chosen by the luxury fashion line Kenzo to be the face of its La Collection Memento No. 2 campaign, and her fashion line with Epic Rights will sell with websites like Amazon, meaning it will probably achieve blockbuster success just by having the exposure that Amazon gets with its 100 million Prime members.
Britney has dabbled in fashion before. She has her own lingerie line and had a collection with the teen shoe brand Candie’s back in 2010. She also hosts her very own fashion shows via her Instagram account and is behind one of the most successful fragrance empires in the beauty industry.
So why pick now to fully become a fashion influencer? Her timing, for starters, is impeccable. The style of the ’90s — the decade in which Britney first entered stardom — is back with a vengeance. Crop tops, miniskirts, and high-waisted mom jeans are found all over the runways and across street style. Items like lipgloss, scrunchies, and plastic slides are now highly covetable purchases. Even the decade’s coolest brands, Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, are back in favor by drumming up campaigns with “it girl” models and bringing back nostalgic, best-selling pieces. This current fashion sensibility could draw fans even closer to Britney’s style; while she’s certainly not sporting the bubblegum aesthetic she peddled as a young teen, she’s still a fan of the minidress and the crop top.
Britney also is a fashion icon to rally behind because of her resiliency, a characteristic her fans love. She’s had a boatload of hardships, from having several relationships decay in the public eye to a mental breakdown in 2007 that resulted in the custody loss of her two children, as well as two stints in rehab and a hit-and-run offense that almost earned her jail time — all of which she had to deal with in the spotlight.
Britney has also been living under the arrangements of a conservatorship, a court-approved guardianship of sorts for people who are deemed mentally unfit and can’t care for themselves, according to the New York Times. For nearly a decade, all her personal and financial decisions have been made by her father, Jamie Spears, although friends of the musician have said that “if anyone could see her interactions with her kids, they would know that there is no need for a conservatorship over Britney’s personal life.”
“The thing about Britney is that your heart goes out to her,” global beauty analyst Karen Grant of NPD Group told Racked back in 2016. “Even when she does things that make you go, ‘Come on, Britney!’ people don’t hate her, they root for her. That is an enduring quality about her. Her real fans thought that when Britney was going through difficult times, buying her perfume would help her. It’s strange the relationship people have with these brands.”
The tide might be turning, though. Several publications have reported that Britney and her family are looking into removing the conservatorship and might allow the musician to slowly start making her own decisions. Britney’s residency at the Axis at Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, which was largely responsible for bringing her back into the public consciousness, just ended its four-year run, and she’s about to hit the road for a Pieces of Me summer tour.
Britney has already rebranded herself in opposition to the unstable image she shouldered in the 2000s, as a happy mother who’s constantly ’gramming pics of her children as well as a fitness enthusiast (her fitspo posts truly back up her lyrics, “You want a hot body? You gotta work, bitch.”) Having successfully reinvented herself, it seems like the perfect opportunity to capitalize on the movement and jump into the fashion space.
”At one point, every young girl wanted to be Britney Spears,” Sue Phillips, president and CEO of the scent marketing firm Scenterprises, told Racked. “They wanted to have her lifestyle and be famous and have her figure and her money and her talent. Then she hit a bad streak and went into a downward spiral. But then she reinvented herself. Maybe there is a story there about sticking with it and coming back and never giving up. Maybe that’s the message that is her legacy.”
Who is the perfect female celebrity to stand as a fashion icon? A fitness-junkie, hard-working millennial mom who also has openly battled mental illness in the past and just so happens to be a rock star. It’s Britney, bitch.