August 7, 2006

Pre-teen girls ignore Hilary Duff’s fashion picks

By Chelsea Emery

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Singers Hilary Duff and Jessica
Simpson may have infiltrated closets, shoe trees and bathrooms
with their names emblazoned on apparel or perfume, but there's
one place celebrities are not having much of an effect -- the
closets of pre-teen girls, according to a survey to be released
on Monday.

Despite media saturation of bold-faced names, girls between
the ages of 9 and 14 scrutinize clothing catalogs or school
peers for dressing cues, rather than MTV or entertainment
shows, according to a Tween Brands Inc. July survey of 400

"A year ago, when I was 13, I didn't look at celebrities,"
said Kelly Collazos, a Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, student.
"I would look at magazines or catalogs and say, 'I have a shirt
like that, I'll put it together that way."'

These findings have an impact on how companies spend their
tightly watched advertising dollars. Whether they pay a
celebrity to promote their products or focus instead on a
so-called catazine that shows clothing and styles in a
magazine-style format, can mean the difference of millions of

So Tween Brands, which runs the Justice and Limited Too
clothing chains for pre-teen girls, instead puts its cash into
more than 18 million catalogs a year. The books feature
fresh-faced models, instead of celebrities.

Only 12 percent of girls ages 9 to 14 look to movie or rock
stars for fashion inspiration, according to the survey, instead
looking to models in magazines or catalogs, their mothers or
their friends.

But what happens during those critical high school years?

Said Kelly, who starts high school in September: "I like
Paris Hilton."

And when she saw rock band Fall Out Boy bassist Pete Wentz
wearing a cool belt in an MTV video, she went to Hot Topic and
bought a similar item.

"Now we look at music videos," she said. "It's all about
the music."