Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Lauren Conrad: ""I am proud that I have parlayed what could have been a fleeting reality career into viable business ventures"
Former MTV reality starlet Lauren Conrad is the latest voice of Forbes.
Conrad, who is listed as a "celebpreneur" columnist for the digital version of the storied financial magazine, made it clear that while people are likely to dismiss her as just another reality TV castoff, she has earned the right to be taken seriously.
"I run two clothing lines, two Web sites and a book franchise on top of directly managing my brand and endorsement deals," she wrote in her debut column. "I've made a career out of allowing cameras to capture my personal life but that doesn't make me 'just another reality star' looking to start a clothing line."
Being a young businesswoman is a challenge, especially when you're an alumna of the vacuous world of reality fantasy," she wrote. "My situation is unusual because I am my brand and every decision I make affects it."
Conrad doesn't just bite back at MTV, the network that made her a star on the shows "Laguna Beach" and "The Hills" - she also writes about her frustration with Kohl's, the department store chain that worked with her on her clothing line.
"I like to wear a lot of chiffon, which is a sheer, lightweight fabric. I wanted to design a couple of chiffon blouses, but Kohl's research said that customers wouldn't buy a see-through top," she said. "Instead of accepting that the customer might not understand how to wear the piece, we decided we would educate her. We made tags with styling tips that read, 'I love lightweight tops, layer mine over a camisole and pair it with jeans ' "
She said that after Kohl's opened up to her point of view, their relationship grew into a "great, healthy partnership."
Conrad's popularity on MTV her book deals, a chance to design her own clothing and spots on the covers of Allure, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Shape, Rolling Stone, Elle and Seventeen.
In 2010, MTV nixed a show which would have featured Conrad working on her nascent clothing line Paper Crown.
Despite the fact that she was disappointed at MTV's decision, she wrrote that "many thought the show cheapened the brand because of the stigma attached to reality shows."
So while she may be the product of reality television, Conrad seems anxious to leave it all behind.
"I am proud of the fact that I have parlayed what could have been a fleeting reality career into viable business ventures," she said.