All Articles Tagged "celebrity business"
I became business editor here at Madame Noire on July 16. Since then, we’ve been working to bring you the most important and interesting stories about black businesses and entrepreneurs, the economy and politics, technology, and entertainment and media.
Here’s our look back at the hot stories and topics that affected the bottom half of this eventful year. Of course, we’re constantly looking for story ideas and feedback. So feel free to email me directly at email@example.com, tweet us @MadameNoireBiz, and Facebook us on our page here (which will be hosting a chat about budgeting and money-saving tomorrow at 3pm).
Thanks readers for joining us this past year… Happy holidays!!
Unemployment Numbers Get Better… Sort of
Unfortunately, unemployment is a big problem for the black community. The latest jobs numbers show that things are slowly on the upswing, but we’re still dealing with joblessness among blacks that far exceeds the national average. In an effort to get people back to work, there are programs like this. And on the topic of jobs, people around the country are asking whether workers need unions. In Chicago, the teachers union went on strike and has spoken out about what they see as racism in the public education system.
Kanye West, by far one of the most successful artists of the past decade, extended his brand to another arena that many have been expecting for some time to come. In his debut as a bonafide fashion designer, Kanye West’s line, called DW as a tribute to his late mother Donna West, featured 23 looks at Paris Fashion Week. Reviews were mixed but overall good. Here are some photos from the line.
(Eurweb) — Jennifer Hudson, who has lost 80 pounds through Weight Watchers and is a spokeswoman for the company, is opening her own Weight Watchers weight loss center in her hometown of Chicago, according to the AP. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to attend the event Tuesday in the city’s Hyde Park neighborhood on the South Side.
50 Cent has made hundreds of millions of dollars peddling everything from music to video games. Now he is bringing his viral marketing genius into a surprising new realm: celebrity philanthropy. With his new energy shot drink, Street King, 50 Cent plans to parlay his popularity into selling his millions of fans on helping him feed one billion Africans.
Here’s how it works. For every sale of Street King, the company will give a meal to a child. In a recent video making its rounds on the web the man also known an Curtis Jackson made his pitch to the youth market, hitching his plea for their help to the purchase of branded energy shots — a growing market. MTV.com reports:
In a heartfelt PSA-styled viral clip that the G-Unit general put out [Tuesday], he spoke on the importance of eliminating hunger and poverty in the world and called on his fans to help him do it.
“What’s up, it’s your boy 50 Cent,” 50 starts off in the video. “I’m actually out here in Austrailia on tour right now and man, I grew up without money but I didn’t grow up hungry. It’s a lot of people out there that are actually hungry, actually dying of hunger. And I feel like it’s our responsiblity to come together and do things to create a solution for this actual problem.” [...]
“What I’ve seen from this actual run, when I was out in Africa, was unbeilievable, the devastation and desperation of people who don’t know when they’ll receive their next meal” said 50. “Or if they’re going to receive their next meal. I want to feed a billion kids and I need your help to do it. I need you to utilize your energy, your voice, to provide additional motivation for me at times. My new project is called SK, Street King and y’all know the plan. I just told y’all the plan. I want to feed a billion kids. It’s your boy 50 Cent.”
50 Cent is also stimulating curiosity about Street King organically by wearing a dazzling “SK” medallion on his chain. Ever the grass roots instigator, it will be an interesting business lesson to see what other creative and entertaining methods this street king develops to draw attention to his new charity effort. 50’s previous acts of charity include performing for survivors of the Norway massacre more recently, as well as funding numerous programs for needy Americans through his G-Unity Foundation.
The Real Housewives franchise from Bravo TV has certainly helped launch the entrepreneurial careers of more than half of its starlets.
So whose the next member to launch? Kandi Burress, the singer/songwriter/single mother featured on The Real Housewives of Atlanta. Viewers got to see a sensual side of Burress as she hosted her online web series, Kandi Koated Nights, as shown on the reality show. Now, the songstress is taking it to the next level with the launch of a sex toy line. Bravo cameras were on hand yesterday to film the launch party in New York city, where she introduced her new venture.
No doubt, sales of Burress’ business will be generously helped by Bravo’s support, as it has done with so many others. Bettheny Frankel is by far the most successful entrepreneur in Housewives history, having sold her Skinny Girl Margarita for an estimated $100 million. Fellow Atlanta housewife Kim Zolciak is copping a wig line.
(HipHopDX) — 50 Cent is making good on his promise to help feed one billion children. The Hip Hop mogul has teamed up with Pure Growth Partners to launch Street King, an energy shot that will supply a child in need with a meal for every shot purchased (via HHNM). The shot will launch in September and be availale in Orange Mango and Grape flavors. For $2.49 to $2.99, the shot contains 100 percent natural flavors, no artifical colors and caffeine derived from coffee beans. Each shot has no calories, carbohydrates or sugar, and is fortified with gingko biloba and vitamins.
It’s not only rappers and pop stars getting into the celebrity fashion line – gospel singers are too. Houston native and gospel star Yolanda Adams has launched her own clothing line to dress the church-going, professional crowd her music already caters to. “This line can go anywhere. It can go to church, it can go to brunch, it can go to the boardroom, so there are many places you can take this line,” she said of her collection, to KHOU in Houston.
Adams insists that she was intimately involved in the design process of developing the line. Certainly, her own 6 foot frame influenced her desicion to offer a wide range of sizes, which range from a size 4 to 26W. Although the line won’t be offered in stores, it will be available online and via trunk shows.
Although the brand and sizes will appeal to a broad audience, what about the price point? With items ranging from $125 to $2000, it’s safe to say that a substantial portion of her fans won’t be able to afford her apparel. Nonetheless, the fact that Adams is offering free alterations for three years will certainly sweeten the deal. How many brands offer such a sweet deal?
Known for their power maneuvers in the music industry, Sean “Jay-Z” Carter and Pharrell Williams have collaborated on several musical ventures in the past.
Now, the two forces are joining together again, but this time it will be outside of the studio and arena stages. According to a GQ exclusive, Jay-Z’s Rocawear has partnered up with Pharrell’s Billionaire Boys Club to manufacture and distribute BBC, thus further leveraging its success.
Though the full details of the partnership have not been fully disclosed, GQ is reporting that Pharrell will remain as the creative vision behind the BBC label while Jay-Z will use his business prowess to effectively market the brand.
Though both brands produce street wear for the urban youth, Billionaire Boys Club is not mass marketed for department stores as Rocawear is. Created in 2005 by Pharrell and Japanese fashion designer, Nigo, who is responsible for the establishment of A Bathing Ape (BAPE), the Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream were conjunctively launched to present “luxury streetwear” to their target youth demographic. Initially, both brands were supposed to be marketed through Reebok, but after several disputes, the line was indefinitely postponed.
Eventually, Billionaire Boys Club was launched as a sister company to A Bathing Ape.
Since its’ official release, Billionaire Boys Club has been moderately successful. Most of the label’s clientele are members of the hip-hop elite, including Lil’ Wayne and Kanye West, but there are only 26 high-end retailers that sell BBC to the public.
Rocawear is marketed through retail department stores including Macys which accounts for the bulk of their clothing sales. The limited purchasing availability for Billionaire Boys Club will not shift as the two collections combine. Even though Jay-Z sold his rights to Rocawear to Iconix Brand Group, he is still in charge of product development, marketing, and licensing.
(AllHipHop News) Hip-Hop producer Pharrell Williams is the latest artist to try his hand in the liquor business, with the launch of a new drink in partnership with one of the world largest spirits maker, Diageo. Pharrell Williams is launching the drink named “Qream with a Q,” which is due to hit shelves nationwide later this month. According to Pharrell, the new drink is an ultra-premium cream “liqueur.”
(USA Today) — First there was Panera’s non-profit concept store “Panera Cares Cafe” where all profits go to charity; then high-end retailer Nordstrom announced it would test out a charity-driven business model this fall in New York City’s Soho district. And now? Rapper Jay-Z is wading into the charity space with a similar business model. Indeed, the mogul has announced plans for a new restaurant and nightclub in London in partnership with soccer star Ashley Cole (ex-husband of former X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole) with a percentage of profits going to different charities each month, according to U.K. newspaper, The Sun.