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Katie Holmes’ fashion line sees sales grow after divorce

Jordana Divon
Shine On
July 25, 2012

Katie Holmes' love life may not be in the best shape following her split from husband Tom Cruise, but one area in the actress's orbit that appears to be benefiting from the separation is her high-end clothing line.

What's that? You had no idea Katie Holmes had a clothing line either?

According to Vogue UK, however, that's all about to change. The name Holmes & Yang will be on everyone's lips come New York Fashion Week thanks to the massive boost in sales spurred by all Holmes' divorce publicity.

"The way she's getting photographed today, she's in a position to get more exposure than ever before," Robert Burke, a former Bergdorf Goodman executive, tells The New York Times. "She's not waiting for fashion editors and stylists to come and pull her clothes."

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Buzzfeed even claims the label, on which Holmes collaborates with her stylist Jeanne Yang, will likely receive the lion's share of attention during its Fashion Week debut. Not bad for a line few people had heard of last month.

This wouldn't be the first time scandal has propelled sales figures. In fact, a little media attention — especially the wrong kind — has been a retail driver since long before Calvin Klein declared, "there's no such thing as bad publicity" (while raking in the CK One cash.)

And remember Monica Lewinsky's interview with Barbara Walters? The one thing people seem to recall from that 1999 sitdown was the shade of Club Monaco lipstick the 25-year-old was wearing. As you can imagine, stores couldn't keep up with customer demand.

We even have our own homegrown examples. Justin Bieber's Christmas album flew off the shelves last November amid accusations that he'd fathered a child with a 20-year-old L.A. concertgoer.

Under the Mistletoe became the first Christmas album by a male artist to debut at No. 1, and in the age of streaming and illegal downloading went 3X platinum in Canada alone —denoting sales of over 240,000.

Though the accusations were later dropped, sales figures on Bieber merchandise didn't. His fragrance, Someday, shattered sales records and even won the equivalent of the perfume Oscars.

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So what is it about scandal that draws people toward scandal-related products?

The most obvious answer is visibility. Katie Holmes has been making the most of the attention by sporting her own designs, thus drawing attention to her clothes.

Because they look great on her, and because these photos are everywhere, the brand seems ubiquitous and, therefore, a must-have.

Another possibility is notoriety. Certain people like to feel connected, even in a small, indirect way, to the exciting, scandalous and headline-grabbing events going on around them.

Draping themselves in an item related to the notorious person in question can create a sense of being involved — or at the very least provide an interesting talking point.

"Why yes, this is a Holmes & Yang original," they might tell a friend. "I wonder if she was already planning her escape from Tom when she was designing it!"

Considering a single Holmes & Yang cardigan will set you back close to $1,000, the label can use all the momentum it gets.

Watch the video below for five wardrobe stylist tips you should know.

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