She is the chat show host that America adores, second only to Oprah, with an audience of millions. And now the down-to-earth host is launching her very own lifestyle brand, but this is no minor product range, Ellen is planning a global takeover.
Called E.D, which apparently is the nickname given to her by her wife Portia de Rossi, the brand will offer everything from fashion items, homeware to pet products. To help her launch her new brand, Ellen is teaming up with some of the industry’s most feted movers and shakers, including J. Christopher Burch of Burch Creative Capital, Marisa Gardini, from Isaac Mizrahi, Michael Francis, chief global brand officer of DreamWorks Animation, and Janet Grove, former chief executive officer of Macy’s Merchandising Group.
Ellen spoke to WWD about the launch and the people helping her: “I’m not trying to launch a little boutique situation,” she added: “I feel like it’s the most amazing team, an all-star team.”
Burch was equally enthusiastic about Ellen: “I knew Ellen was loved by everybody, but I didn’t understand the depth of [her public perception],” Burch continued. “People see who she is, what a wonderful person she is and how much she gives back. Everyone responds to her — you’re a man, you’re a woman, you’re a mom, you’re a working mom — she brings a happiness and a light and a true authenticity.”
So what can we expect from Ellen’s brand that others, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Martha Stewart haven’t already covered? Well, the first point Ellen wants to get across is that her brand will be affordable and available to everyone. She says: “My goal is that people can have a beautiful house, a really comfortable house, without only being able to afford [very expensive] things,’ she explains. As for clothing: ‘[The] price point will be mid-level. As far as who it’s for, I think it’s for anyone.”
Ellen’s range is still being tweaked as we write, but will be on sale from late October/early November, just in time for early Christmas and holiday shoppers. Her range will include gifts and homeware such as tableware featuring mugs, bar sets, coasters, plates, bedroom accessories including throws and soft furnishings, decorative candles, and much more.
There will also be a garden range with outdoor accessories and men and women’s clothing, but Ellen is keeping surprisingly close lipped about the details, saying: “I don’t want to be specific because I don’t want people stealing my ideas.”
Ellen’s brand will be sold online through its own e-commerce site and through concessions within other retailers, but going forward, although there are plans for pop-ups stores, no bricks and mortar plans have been set in motion as yet. However, depending on how successful the E.D brand becomes, this all could change.
Burch says: “We’re taking an omnichannel approach. We’ll work with great partners all around the world. We’ll launch initially with one, and we’ll move from there to other categories, other things.”
Thanks to the popularity of Ellen’s show in countries such as China and Dubai, she already has a ready-made customer fan base in these countries. However, Ellen is up for any challenge: “It’s going to be interesting over the next three or four years, to really establish the business in addition to doing my show. It’s a whole new chapter. My life has gone to places…it’s pretty amazing.”
And it appears that her ambitions are certainly out of this world: “They say we’re going to be on another planet soon, right? I’m going to be the first brand on that planet.”