Music trends used to simply be confined to differing genres, but more and more musicians and singers are turning into one-man (or woman) industries with sideline projects bearing their name or influence, from perfumes to nightclubs to vanity film projects. However, the biggest sign that an artist has made it is their own fashion label.
With Madonna recently in the spotlight for her own Material Girl label, artists' fashion ranges have never been a more necessary sign of achievement. However, this is not a new phenomenon and many pop stars are now simply jumping on very well established band wagon.
Urban clothing has accommodated hip hop artists' fashion input for a number of years with numerous well known faces pioneering huge fashion houses in their own right. Some are well known and documented, naming their range with their own moniker, while others are more modest, running the company for the sake of the fashion as opposed to another attempt at self-promotion.
For instance, Jay-Z's clothing range Rocawear Clothing was formed in 1995 before he had even released a single album and has been run with the same ethos as it was started despite his rise to prominence. He has been quoted as saying that his brands are an extension of himself, and with urban clothing being all about individuality and personal reflection, this gives Rocawear clothing credibility that other stars' lines might lack.
The trend of famous names creating their own clothing empire seems to have moved on, like all fashions do, to incorporate artists from any genre. But it remains the R&B artists who seem to actually be able to connect to their intended audience and not simply look like a gimmick. Ironically, urban clothing has never been about brand names and this just makes it all the more impressive.