The Name Game: The Value Of Celebrity Marketing

Celebrity Couture ‘Lines’ are a growing category in business and it is big business. You see many more brand ‘ambassadors’ or ‘creative consultants’, ‘celebrity endorsed’ products than ever. You have seen every A,B and C celebrity #hashtagging products. In fact companies are leaving TV ads for targeted marketing with social media, spending more than $255 million on influencer marketing every month. Research also points out that sales can rise 4% after signed a celebrity. 

Daily Mail
Daily Mail

It has gotten so big that The Federal Trade Commission is cracking down. So many celebs are endorsing brands in their social media accounts without disclosing that they were paid for their #rave about a product.


Eye Boggler: Did you know in perfumes celebrities can make between 5-10% of sales for licensing and that does not include an upfront payment, which can be $3 Million and over. Research says that celebrity perfumes are over $1.3 Billion a year, which is a large scent in the $5.2 billion dollar industry in the US.

If according to Vision Monday the top 50 Retailers hit over 12 Billion… what that mean that an Twitter-Kardashianeyewear endorsment-license is worth?

Celebrity-Marketing is not new.. Since Babe Ruth endorsed a soft drink in the 1930’s, ‘Sports Companies’ have involved celebrity athletes. (Think Gatorade) From Football to Tennis to NASCAR, endorsements are the the name of the game and help to build the brand. In fact, it is rare to find any sports or even lifestyle sunglasses that is not attached to a surfer, skater, driver, fisherman, parachutist, skier, baseball player and more. Obviously other brands are learning from the sports performance market.

All that said: What is a #eyewearhashtag really worth?

First I went to Webfluential to see how much one of our Tweets were worth. Only $35-$40. Not enough to make a living that is for sure, unless I did a lot of Tweets.


Dale Earnhardt Jr
Ivanka Trump

Then we found on Vocativ this chart on influencer payments. A little FYI, you do not have to be a Rock Star to be an influencer.


Other than sports, Celebrity Couture Eyewear comprises of several different types of marketing. All can be taken advantage of by eyecare professionals.

1.) Celebrities license out their name for a fee. Usually includes upfront cost and a percentage of the take. May include images, maybe to show up at a trade show. The time frames is usually for 5 years and if it works, then the license is renewed.

2.) Celebrities create a ‘capsule collection‘ for a manufacturer or designer. Oh course they want to have their creative say in the product, accessories and marketing. Once the collection is made and is sold out, it is over. You saw this with Madonna (D&G) and Rihanna (Dior). If the celebrity has a strong following, the capsule collection is sold out immediately. You can always pick it up at an inflated cost on Amazon or ebay. 

3.) Celebrities endorse a product. This can be rewarded with Free Products and money.You see this in many athletics and sports. This is the biggest #celebrityhashtag. Maybe Justin Timberlake does eat at McDonalds, maybe JoLo does use Loreal.

4.) Celebrities Model For a Product and they call it celebrity endorsement. We are not idiots, the celebrity is only endorsing the product because they get paid to.

Rachel Weisz supposely ‘endorsing’ Bvlgari eyewear
Jennifer Aniston for Dry Eye

5.) Celebrity becomes Brand Ambassador or Creative Director, such as Lady Gaga in 2011 for Polaroid. (Jezebel

6.) Celebrity gets paid to #hashtag a product for money. Sometimes it can be for cause in the case of Diff Eyewear and Kendall Jenner for a give back sale.

The Times reported that 29-year-old social media “celebrity” Shaun McBride, who goes by Shonduras and has 700,000 followers, earned $10,000 a pop for as many as five promotional stories a month on Snapchat that would disappear after a day. (Vocativ)

7.) Celebrity decides to create their own eyewear brand and market through their website. These seem to be more ‘B’ type celebrities: See Snooki, Paris Hilton and Amber Rose.

After reviewing the list of Celebrity Eyewear, it became apparent, that celebrity eyewear can work by building brand awareness and creditibility. But  it does not guarantee success as many ‘launches’ have never come to fruition and some do not last beyond the five years of licensing.

We pulled together some some ‘branded celebrity eyewear, capsule collections and a few others.

  1. Amber Rose (Model) Amber Rose made an announcement in 2015 that she is launching her own sunglasses brand. The Bash Collection is sold through her website and it looks like she is not keeping it up.
  2. Andy Warhol Eyewear (RIP, Artist) Andy Warhol Eyewear was released by RetroSuperFuture in 2016. (Hypebeast) This is a part of their iconic collection and is still available. 
  3. Antonio Banderas Eyewear (Actor) In 2015 he designed a capsule collection of eyeglasses for the 700 unit Opticalia chain. He was also the face for the eyewear brand Police. Product can be purchased thru Opticalia and on Amazon.
  4. Ana Hickman Eyewear (Model) Distributed by the Go Eyewear Group. Eyewear can be bought online or through Go Eyewear Group. Ana Hickman has over 5 Million likes on Facebook.
  5. Beth Ditto: (Singer) by Mykita -Lead singer of the band Gossip launched a handmade, limited edition capsule sunglass collection in 2012 with Mykita.

    Mykita’s Beth Ditto
  6. Rob Dyrdrek, Pete Fox, CEO of Fox Head Sunglasses, Jerome Mage (Skateboarder, Actor) launched IVI Eyewear a  sunglasses company in 2013. (Trendhunter and Blurppy) The company is still in business today.
  7. Bobbi Brown Eyewear (Celebrity Stylist) Launched by  Safilo in 2014. Bobbi Brown Eyewear is an eyewear brand with a licensing fee.
  8. Bobby Jones Eyewear (Golfer) Has his own Brand of sunglasses through Signature/ Mosaic. Product can be purchased through his website or though eyecare professionals
  9. Bono: (Singer, Activist) (Clearvision and Legacie) Endorsement: Revo Eyewear in a collaboration with lead singer Bono will give back $10 for every pair of Revo sold. Launched in 2015, they hope to raise $10 Million by year 2020. Bono has been dealing with Glaucoma for the past 20 years, so this is personal issue with him. This is a celebrity endorsement. 
  10. Brittany Spears Eyewear: Brittany Spears Eyewear was launched by Glance Eyewear in 2002. It does not appear that the Brittany Spears brand is still being made although you can still find pieces online. ‘Britney Spears ranked No. 99 on Forbes’ list of the highest-earning celebrities in 2016, tying with Gisele Bündchen. Both earned $30.5 million. This is a slight decrease for Spears, who made $31 million in 2015 and landed at No. 82 on Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list (Source )
  11. Carlos by Carlos Santana Eyewear, (Musician) Launched in 2016 by Inspecs Eyewear. Carlos by Carlos Santana can be purchased on Amazon, on Carlos Santana official webstore and through eyecare professionals.
  12. Catherine Deneuve Eyewear (Actress) Viva launched Catherine Deneuve Eyewear in 2012 and Marcolin renewed the license in 2014.
  13. Celine Dion Eyewear (Singer) Celine Dion has has eyewear on and off via several companies. Dunelm Optical (UK) still has Celine Dion Eyewear. Consumers can order various Celine Dion eyeglasses online. Celine Dion is one of the richest celebrities in the USA and Canada worth about $720 Million.
  14. Cindy Bailey Eyewear (Reality TV Star) Launched in 2015 and distributed by Menizzi. Eyewear can be purchased through Menizzi or consumers can purchase online at
  15. Claudia Schiffer Eyewear (Model) Back in 2014 Claudia Schiffer teamed with Rodenstock to produce eyewear. While the frames are not listed on Rodenstock’s website, you can still find them online.
  16. Cody Simpson– (Singer) Known for the”Flower”, collaborated on sunglasses collection with Sickys Eyewear in 2015.
  17. Christy Brinkley Eyewear (Model) Nouveau Eyewear has distributed Christie Brinkley eyewear for 20 years.
  18. Daisy Fuentes Eyewear (Model, TV Host) Distributed by  Zyloware. Daisy Fuentes products sells over $300 Million in Kohls stores yearly. Over 56,000 LIKES on Facebook.
  19. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Race Car Driver) New York Eye has had this license since 2011. 
  20. Danica Patrick (Race car driver) at one time teamed with REVO for sunglasses.
  21. Dan Levy ( Host of MTV’s The After Show,  FLARE columnist) Launched his own eyewear collection in 2013. We don’t know where it is, but it was all in the news.
  22. Daniel Johns (Musician) launched a limited edition series of eyewear with Chronicles of Never in 2016. (Source)
  23. Danny Gokey (Reality TV Singer on American Idol) Match Eyewear launched his first collection in 2012.
  24. Deepika Padukone launched a capsule collection with Vogue Eyewear in 2015. (Source)
  25. Donald Trump (President) Eyewear Designs distributes this collection.
  26. Drew Barrymore (Actress) via Wal-mart launches her Flower Eyewear in 2016 to be sold through Wal-Mart. Allure Eyewear has the license for Flower Eyewear.
  27. Ed Hardy (Tattooist) Ed Hardy used to be distributed by Revolution Eyewear. You can still find pieces online.
  28. Elizabeth and James: This is the owned by Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen and launched in 2009. The Row was a collection that was in collaboration with Linda Farrow.
  29. Ellen Degeneres (Actress, Comic) Ellen Degeneres Eyewear was launched in 2016 by MODO. Ellen Degeneres makes about $75 million per year is is listed as one of the top 100 highest paid celebrities.
  30. El Mafrex (Gospel Singer) ) who was launching his own sunwear line in 2012. (Source) We have not been able to find it.
  31. Ernest Hemingway Eyewear (RIP, Writer) Is distributed by New York Eye. The Ernest Hemingway Collection was launched in 2009. Sold through New York Eye and through The Ernest Hemingway Collection of licensed products online.
  32. Eve Marcille (Actress, Model) launched her first Eyewear Collection Called First Ave Eyewear in 2017 (Source)
  33. Gigi Hadid (Model)  x Tommy Hilfer capsule collection for Spring 2017.
  34. Greg Norman (Golfer) The Greg Norman Eyewear collection was launched by Aspex. Consumers can purchase online through Greg or eyecare professional can purchase through Aspex
  35. Gwen Stefani (Singer, Designer) Gwen Stefanie eyewear was launched by Tura in 2015
  36. Hadid Eyewear (Half Sister of Gig and Bella) 2017 launched Hadid Eyewear. Sold online
  37. Harry Potter (Movie) one of the best known names, although not a real person, Harry Potter Eyewear was launched by Logo of The Americas in 2002.
  38. Hugo Taylor (Former Made In Chelsea star) launched Taylor Morris Eyewear in the UK. Launch was in 2013.
  39. Imany– (Singer and Model) teamed with eyewear brand Alain Mikli, to make a capsule collection of eyewear. (2014) 
  40. Ivanka Trump (Public Figure) Distributed by B. Robinson. Consumers can also order online through Ivanka Trumps website.
  41. James Dean Eyewear (RIP, Actor) Allure Eyewear has the licensing for James Dean Eyewear. Eyewear can be purchased online at the shop.
  42. Jason Bolden (Celebrity Stylist) Launched his own sunglass brand in 2016. Called
  43. Jay Z Roccawear Eyewear (Singer) Distributed by Colors in Optics in 1999. One of the first Hip Hop Artists to launch an eyewear line. JayZ is worth about $476 Million. One of the Instagram account is private with 337 million followers.
  44. Jeff Foxworthy (Comic)  via Ducks Unlimited: Distributed by The McGee Group in 2014. Give back line.
  45. Jessica Simpson Eyewear (Singer, Actress) Distributed by Colors in Optics. Launched in 2007.
  46. Jimmy Hendrix (RIP, Singer) Launched by Odyssey 2020 and Australia eyewear company. We cannot find the product although it shows up in goggle search.
  47. JLO by Jennifer Lopez – (Actress and singer). Launched in 2009. Distributed by Safilo. JLO is no longer on the list of brands offered by Safilo. Consumers can find online through various sites including ebay.
  48. Joan Collins (Actress) anyone remember Dynasty? Distributed by New York Eye
  49. John Lennon Eyewear (RIP, Singer) Distributed by Adlens and Eagle Eyewear. The John Lennon Adlens collection is a one for one give back.
  50. Jonathan Adler (Designer-Home Decor) While he is not a ‘celebrity’ per say, but a furniture decor designer, he did put his name on eyewear. First Toms did a collaboration with him for a style. Rem Eyewear got the license in 2014.
  51. JoJo Fletcher (Reality TV Star) Launching Sunwear collection with Diff Eyewear (source)
  52. Justin  Timberlake with Rast Eyewear Launched in 2011 with “William Rast Eyewear” and “William Rast Racing Eyewear”. Distributed by Viva. Not available anymore. His fashion empire is said to be worth $50 Million. As an FYI, Timberlake was paid $6 million to sing the MacDonalds jingle for the commercial.
  53. Kardashian Collection: (Reality TV Stars) We don’t keep up with the Kardashians, but alot of people do. The Kardashian collection can be found at Sears and was launched in 2012. Inspecs has the Licensing for the brand. Kim Kardashian West charges a 750,000 to 1,000,000 dollars to attach her name to a product and Khloe Kardashian apparently was paid 13,000 dollars for a single tweet in 2013 (Source)
  54. Kate Young (Celebrity Stylist) Kate Young for Tura was launched in 2015.
  55. Kelly Slater (Surfer) Kelly Slater is one of the most famous surfers in the world. His Eyewear collection was launched with Electric California in 2015. There are only two styles.
  56. Kendall and Kylie Eyewear -(Reality TV, Celebrities)  The viral news of 2016, that they are launching their own eyewear line. Allure Eyewear has the licensing for eyewear. The eyewear will be launches via Nordstroms and selected stores. “Top models like Kendall and Gigi and their dear pal Cara Delevingne usually bring in anywhere between $125,000 to $300,000 for a single post on any of their social media sites, D’Marie Archive founder Frank Spadafora told CR Fashion Book.” (Source)
  57. Kenny Chesney (Singer) Sunwear. Launched in 2013 in a give back program with Costa Sunglasses. Kenny Chesney is one of the richest celebrites.  100
  58. Kevin Durant Eyewear (Sports Star) Teamed with Nike for the KD eyewear line in 2014.
  59. Lance Fresh (NBA Sports) Teamed with Temples and Bridges for Capsule collection.
  60. Linda Evans Eyewear (Actress) Another Dynasty actress. Distributed by Sans Pareil
  61. Lisa Loeb Eyewear (Grammy nominated Singer) Launched by Classique Eyewear in 2009.
  62. Madonna (Singer) launched a signature sunglass collection with Dolce and Gabbana in 2010. Madonna is one of the highest paid celebrities.
  63. Maria Sharapova Eyewear (Tennis Celebrity) Launched by Tag Heuer in 2010. We cannot find it.
  64. Marilyn Monroe Eyewear (RIP, Actress) Allure Eyewear has the licensing for Marilyn Monroe Eyewear. Consumers can purchase Marilyn Monroe Eyewear online at Eyecare professionals can purchase through Allure. One model is a give back style.
  65. Mary Jo Blige (Singer) launched her first sunglass collection MJB Melodies in 2010. Not available anymore.
  66. Mike Sorrentino ‘The Situation’ (TV Reality Star, Jersey Shore) launched his own eyewear collection in 2012. (Source)
  67. Motherbaugh Eyewear: (Musician) Launched in 2014 By Shane Baum. Consumers can purchased through Motherbaugh website.
  68. Nicole Richie (Reality TV Star) Nicole Ritchie’s House of Harlow used to feature alot of eyewear. House of Harlow was launched in 2008 and at one time was said to be worth $2Million. Now the site seems to be gone. Each link leads to another site. 
  69. Paris Hilton Eyewear (Heiress, Reality TV Star) Paris Hilton Eyewear first launched in 2009 by Gripping Eyewear. Anyone remember her at Vision Expo… being late and with her posse who took over the whole scene. Consumers can purchase her eyewear on line on one of the webshop  The Gripping Eyewear is very old. In another search, Paris Hilton revealed during an interview on CNN in 2011 wthat she makes more than $10 million a year from selling 17 different product lines – everything from handbags and sunglasses to pet supplies. (Source) On her own online webshop, there is cheap Paris Hilton sunglasses. She has over 7,789,000 LIKES on Facebook.
  70. Paul S. Morton or Bishop Morton (Grammy nominated gospel singer) launched his eyewear in 2016. It is a Give Back to vision. Consumers can order online.
  71. Paula Deen: (Reality TV Cook) Celebrity Chef eyewear is distributed by Eyewear Designs. Launched in 2011.  Consumers can purchase through her website or other online platforms. Over 4,592,000 LIKES on Facebook.
  72. Pharrell Williams: (Musician) Collaboration with Moncler  (2013) Williams has worked with both Louis Vuitton and Nigo in eyewear collaborations back in 2005. The eyewear is still available on the Moncler website for consumers. He has got so many websites on one he has over 10,000,000 LIKES on Facebook.
  73. Police – This is not a trademark brand, but if you know the musician police, one might think this is a product they endorse. Police is a brand launched by De Rigo in 1983.
  74. Project Runway: (Reality TV Show) While this is not a ‘celebrity’ per say, it is hosted by public figures and celebrities. Project Runway debuted in 2004 and Zyloware launched Project Runway Eyewear in 2013. This is another celebrity that has numerous Facebook Pages around the globe.
  75. Randy Jackson: (Reality TV Star,) Everyone most likely knows Randy Jackson from another reality show, American Idol. Zyloware has had the brand for over five years.
  76. Rihanna With Dior Collaboration 2016. (Singer) Rihanna is known for her eyewear in general. This was a capsule collection that went viral.
  77. Russell Westbrooke: (Basketball) Sama launched Russell Westbrooke eyewear in 2015. Sold online. 
  78. Russell Simmons (Reality TV Star, Musician,) Argyle Culture  Eyewear was launched in 2011. Distributed by The McGee Group.
  79. Sean John (P.Diddy) :(Singer) Distributed by Marchon and launched in 2007. He has a $475 million net worth and an estimated $35 million in annual earnings. Half of Diddy’s yearly pay comes from his endorsement/advertising of Ciroc vodka. (Source) He is one of the highest paid celebrities at $62 Million a year.
  80. Shaquille ONeal (Basketball) Launched by Zyloware in 2016. Shaquille O’Neal first sold his eyewear brand Dunkman though Forever K Michael in 2011.
  81. Snooki (Reality TV Star) Another viral story back in 2011-12.. Low end sunglasses that can be bought on her website and Amazon. She made $175,000 per episode on Snooki and $150,000 per episode on the Jersey Shore. 
  82. Snoop Dogg (Rap Star) Launched Notorious Eyewear in 2008. Estimates say that Snoop Dogg is worth $125 Million and make $2.5 Million/year (Source)
  83. Sophia Vergara Eyewear (Actress on Modern Family) Essilor FGX line. Sofia Vergara was named the highest paid actress for five years, earning $36 million in 2014 and $47 Million in 2015.  The majority of her income is from endorsements with: Diet Pepsi, CoverGirl, Head & Shoulders, AT&T, and even a medication—Synthroid—are where she makes the big bucks. (Source)
  84. Sophia Loren (Actress) Zyloware has had this license for over 20 years and is most likely the longest running eyewear license. Sophia Loren has numerous and global Fan pages on Facebook.

    Benjamin Eyewear Facebook page has not been updated since 2013 and the website has been under construction for a least a year.
  85. Steven Tyler (Singer Aerosmith) ‘launched’ his own eyewear brand in 2014. (Source) We do not think you can find this, we couldn’t.
  86. Sting (DeRigo) This is really not after the Sting, just a house brand that was created by DeRigo in 1985
  87. Thalia Eyewear (Singer) Launched in 2002 and we think it is  distributed by Kenmark. Listed on their Facebook page, but not their website.
  88. Tico Torries (Drummer for Bon Jovi) Rock Star Baby was launched in 2010? There is a Facebook page but no updates since the ‘See You At Vision Expo 2011’.
  89. Toni Koi (Founder of NYX cosmetics) Launched an eyewear collection and stores called Perverse Eyewear in 2016. Currently has six Branded Brick and Mortar Locations.
  90. Tracy Sipp (Celebrity Stylist) Launched eyewear range in 2015. We cannot find them, but we can find the YouTube video of the launch here.
  91. Twiggy (Model) Eyewear launch by SpecSavers in the UK in 2015.
  92. Tony Hawk (Skater) One of the top skateboarders in the world. Launched by Eyewear Designs in 2015.
  93. Victoria Beckham Eyewear (Singer, Posh Spice, Designer) Founding member of Spice Girls, married to David Beckham. Originally launched in 2008. Consumers can purchase online through Victoria Beckham’s website or other retail establishments.
  94. (Musician) ill.i Optics by (Singer) Founding member of Black Eye Peas. The eyewear was Launched in 2014. Distributed by Colors in Optics in the United States and Allison It. Consumers can purchase through ill.i optics website. Eyecare professionals can purchase through Colors in Optics or Allison.
  95. XXL Eyewear by A&A Optical This is large mens eyewear collection spokesperson is Ron ‘Jaw’ Jaworski and NFL quarterback.

With all of that said, generally speaking is it worth it to have Celebrity endorse your products? I asked Dan Feldman of DBA Design, what his experiences have been with local celebrities.

We’ve used local celebrity endorsements over the years for clients with diminishing returns. There was a time someone was ecstatic to pick out a new pair of designer eyeglasses and mention how well they were taken care of at that store when speaking about their new eyewear. We would even pop for radio commercials for those radio hosts and pay a nominal talent fee for every live commercial on top of the commercial radio time. Of course, live commercials are a thing of the past anymore. Today, it seems the eyewear can be dispensed on Monday and by Friday the celebrity talent will be shilling for a Lasik center. The loyalty and gratitude last about as long as they are in the store anymore. More importantly, I believe radio listeners have learned that the “talent” are endorsement whores who move from recommending specific products and stores to competing products and stores as easily as changing underwear, making their endorsement progressively worth less and less. So I would recommend any endorsements be from people who really and truly like you and your store instead of celebrity hired guns.

Then we went to Eyetique to see how they use Celebrity endorsements. Catchy titles with local celebrities in black and white are different. Real people in casual looks make the products appealing.

Bottom line, celebrity endorsements and #hashtags can work, if you use it right. If you are carrying the product, follow them on Social Media, be aware of their postings, so you can repost and share a  “come see it here“, we carry this. Take advantage of the celebrity and not make it just another product in your office.


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