Despite premiering to less than spectacular ratings last week, the new reality competition FASHION STAR generatEd Strong retail sales of the show's winning designs, both in stores and online according to TVGuide.com. The retailers involved, Macy's, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue, claim they have been selling out of many of the show's winning outfits. Macy's spokesperson Holly Thomas commented, "Sales of Fashion Star merchandise exceeded expectations."
In its weekly one-hour format, FASHION STARS 14 competing designers participate in tasks, where they are mentored by Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos, designed to further develop and expand their brands.
At the end of each episode, America has the chance to immediately purchase the winning designs showcased on the episode that week at Macy's, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue. The winning designs will be available on-line immediately and in-stores the following day.
Caprice Willard (Macy's), Terron E. Schaefer (Saks Fifth Avenue) and Nicole Christie (H&M) who serve as the judges make on-the-spot decisions as they vie for the right to purchase and exclusively carry the work of the up-and-coming designers each week. The designers who do not sell any of their items to the buyers will be up for elimination. In addition, celebrity mentors Simpson, Richie and Varvatos will be able to save one of these designers from the chopping block.
In last week's premiere episode, a buyer for Macy's purchased three designs from the show's contestants. One of the designs had sold out on its online store by the next day. Thomas says a kimono-sleeve maxi caftan dress designed by contestant Nikki Poulos and selling for $89, "sold out in less than 12 hours, and other items have sold out in certain sizes. Traffic to the store and the site have been very strong."
H&M sold out on a $19.95 black-and-turquoise dress from contestant Sarah Parrott, while Saks Fifth Avenue sold out on a limited supply of $350 zipper mini-skirts from contestant Orly Shani. Executive producer Ben Silverman says of viewers who checked out the online stores. "The people who showed up were coming to buy. The click-through rate on purchase was hundreds of percentage points higher than normal."