Move Over Martha Stewart: Ellen Introduces Her E.D. Brand

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After being ostracized when she first came out, it’s interesting to see how Ellen Degeneres is now poised to parlay her onscreen popularity into the role of successful merchandiser for mainstream America.

The comic-actor-TV host climbed out of second-class citizenship by building her reputation on a wildly successful talk show. Now she has big plans for her own designer label, called E.D.

“I wouldn’t be doing this if I didn’t want it to be the biggest brand name that you can imagine,” Ellen said in an interview with WWD.

There are several significant reasons for using E.D. as her label: E and D are, of course, her initials, “Ed” is the nickname wife Portia has given her, and the film “Edtv” (starring Mathew McConaughey) helped establish her as a viable mainstream actress.

The design career might seem a natural progression for anyone who follows Ellen’s career. For one, her style of clothing has always been unique, leaning toward what’s been traditionally considered a more masculine look in American fashion. That style has progressed from comfy butch to stylishly unisex, as her sense of style regarding home décor has become more public. She has a knack for redoing houses, as reported in Realtor.com:

“The famous real estate addicts/amateur designers [Ellen and wife Portia] produced some of the biggest celebrity real estate headlines in 2013 with a number of deals. In addition to buying a dreamy estate in Monetcito in May for $26.5 million, the duo pocketed $10.85 million on a property in Hidden Valley, CA, a dreamy ranch that DeGeneres herself reimagined.”

So Ellen’s home décor product line, launching just in time for Christmas, will be priced in line with Martha Stewart products. By spring, the clothing line, accessories and pet products are expected to roll out.

Looks like Ellen has her sights set on ruling the merchandising universe, judging by what she told WWD: “They say we’re going to be on another planet soon, right? I’m going to be the first brand on that planet.”

Journalist Laurie Schenden covers the entertainment industry, with many of her notable celebrity interviews appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other national and international publications. As a longtime columnist and feature writer for the LA Times, she also covered events and California destinations for the lifestyle, Outdoors and Travel sections. Laurie Schenden's international pieces include the long-running Where Are They Now celebrity feature for Spotlight Magazine, published in five languages. Laurie has also contributed to numerous documentary films, and produces content via Saving Grace Films.

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