TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio have been working on translating their social media success into a business empire with help from their parents, Marc and Heidi. In addition to brand deals and sponsorships, the celebrity family has invested in startups through a new VC fund 444 Capital, and this fall they announced plans to launch their own fashion, beauty and lifestyle companies as well. One of the first of these new ventures is a women’s footwear line that is now on track for a May 2023 launch, Marc D’Amelio confirmed in an interview to a panel at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week.
The panel, which took place Friday at the Variety Entertainment Summit, revealed how heavily Marc was involved in running the D’Amelio family empire, as he answered most of the interviewer’s questions about the upcoming brand’s products and other D’Amelio ventures. Products. family businesses. At one point, Dixie even complimented her father’s business savvy, explaining that “Charli and I always went to my father for advice on deals and even long-term friendships,” and how “trusting him was best for both of our careers. ”
The D’Amelio Brands initiative was launched with $6 million in seed funding and includes Autograph co-chairman and Whip Media co-founder and CEO Richard Rosenblatt as investor and co-founder. Other investors include Apple SVP Eddy Cue, Jon Feltheimer, CEO of Lions Gate, Michael Rubin, CEO of Fanatics, and Elena Silenok, CEO of Clothia. United Talent Agency, representing the D’Amelios, is also a financier.
The company will have its first board meeting at the end of January, Marc noted.
At CES, Marc explained how merchandise was “low-hanging fruit,” and that when the new products launch, all of the family’s intellectual property will belong to them.
“We didn’t try to reinvent the wheel,” he said. “We saw other creators and other people come out and own their brands 100%. So we started this company called D’Amelio Brands where the main focus is on finding ideas, concepts and products that we are passionate about and basically hatching them – and starting to create things that we own 100% with our investors .
“We started a shoe company under the surname D’Amelio, which will start in May 2023,” he added. (Previous reports had said D’Amelio’s debut brands would launch in late 2022.) Dixie added that the family was already “quite advanced” in the design process related to the new brand initiative, adding that the family lives ” almost every meeting” together.
The interview only briefly touched on what you can expect from the company itself. Marc noted that the new shoe brand will include a lead designer who was previously a top designer at Jessica Simpson shoes (Lauren DiCicco), who was also from the family’s hometown of Connecticut. In addition, Marc referenced his own history in the fashion industry, having been an independent representative in recent years, he said. He also had a showroom in New York and his own clothing brand before his daughters’ fame took things in a different direction.
Despite the plan to try and start a D’Amelio brand empire, Marc confirmed that the family would continue to make brand sponsorship deals for third parties working with their agents at UTA. To date, the D’Amelio sisters have worked with brands such as Dunkin’ and Sabra hummus, and have a clothing line with Hollister.
However, Marc explained that the idea with D’Amelio Brands was to set the family up for a future where they could find financial success outside of the content creation business.
“…By doing content creation for brands and endorsement deals, you start to get into a hamster wheel,” he said. They’re not movie stars. They don’t do a movie and then take time off. It’s ‘what’s the next deal, what’s the deal, what’s the next deal?’ I think what we’re trying to do is I’m trying to create businesses that will work; that the girls may begin brooding, plant the seed. And then I’d like to have it where it can survive without any of us.
For now, however, the D’Amelio family remains busy, and the D’Amelio Brands initiative is just one of many projects the family is involved in. For example, Dixie is working on her music and just landed a song on the current season of “Gossip Girl.” The family is also embarking on season 3 of their reality show on Hulu, in a deal also brokered by UTA.
Dixie admitted they had “a lot of back and forth” about making the series, but ultimately believes it was worth raising awareness about mental health issues, associated with social media exposure.
“We like doing it because we film the videos and then put our phones down. My family and I all talk a lot about mental health and how important that was. It was great to be able to share that journey on the show,” said Dixie. “And that’s probably something I love most – being able to talk to people – not just, ‘oh, doing TikTok is hurting my mental health,’ but… realizing that other people are dealing with that has given me a good feeling given,” she said.