It used to be celebrities would say, “What I really want to do is direct.” Now all they want to do is design. To be sure, there’s an ever-growing list of celebrities designing their own clothing lines (The Row from the Olsen twins) or fragrances (L.A.M.B. by Gwen Stefani), but even more noteworthy are the stars who’ve gone beyond those typical products to pursue more ambitious (and sometimes offbeat) things to design.
Justin Timberlake? His passion is designing golf courses. Brad Pitt? He’s into house design, such as the new "Float House" modular home for Katrina victims. Christie Brinkley shares a taste for designing furniture with Daniel Day-Lewis and rapper Pharrell Williams (although it’s a safe guess that the results look pretty different). Intrepid rockers Neil Young (an electric car) and David Byrne (urban bike racks) have gotten into the design act, too.
What’s with all this creativity? Warren Berger, author of the new book Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life and Maybe Even the World (glimmersite.com), says, “The drive to design seems to be found in people from all walks, including those who could easily afford to pay others to solve problems for them. And now you’re seeing stars do a more authentic kind of design — designs that solve problems and make a difference.” Like the clever diaper that Jamie Lee Curtis designed and patented a while back: it included a built-in moisture-proof pocket for holding those all-important clean-up wipes — which, as parents know, really do make a difference.