The Hills' Lauren Conrad is famous for being on reality TV. But what she really wants is to run a merchandising empire.
MTV's highest-rated program last fall, The Hills' cameras have captured her days as a fashion-magazine intern (Teen Vogue) and nights as a club-hopper who flirts with guys and spars with friends (and frenemies). How we love it so.
In an effort to translate her fame into a legit fashion career, she and her father, Jim Conrad, have assembled a team of Hollywood-industry advisers and signed several licensing and endorsement deals, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The process isn't always smooth.
The network that made her famous won't promote her enterprises on air. And Lauren Conrad, determined to assert her fashion vision, sometimes ignores the suggestions of her more seasoned advisers.
"I'm sure a lot of people don't take me seriously," she says.
Many young celebrities are trying to emulate the success of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who parlayed roles on TV sitcom Full House into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate that has sold books, videos, films and clothes.
Lauren Conrad represents the next generation of branding - reality stars famous only for their willingness to let cameras into their private lives.
Last week, Ms. Conrad's nemesis on The Hills, Heidi Montag, announced her own plans to launch a clothing line. It will be known as Heidiwood.
And from E! reality show Sunset Tan, tanning-salon owners Devin Haman and Jeff Bozz recently came out with a line of tanning moisturizers.
To keep themselves in the spotlight, Lauren Conrad and her reality TV contemporaries are willing citizens of a celebrity gossip world.
During a recent breakfast interview at an outdoor cafÃ© in Los Angeles, Conrad said she suspected a celebrity news photographer was taking pictures of her from across the street. She declined to move to an inside table.
Instead, she looked left and right before taking quick bites of her egg whites. "No one eats pretty," she said.
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