Fame inspires many celebrities to channel their inner entrepreneur, but some probably should’ve stuck with their day jobs. Sure, Jessica Alba might have hit a grand slam by founding The Honest Company, but not everything a star touches turns to gold.
Click through to read more about these startup failures that couldn’t make it despite the celebrity name attached.
Jessica Biel's Au Fudge Restaurant
Jessica Biel — one-half of one of the richest celebrity power couples, along with husband Justin Timberlake — opened her family-friendly Au Fudge restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., in March 2016, marketing it as an exclusive-feeling SoHo House for kids. By early 2017, Biel reportedly told Jimmy Kimmel that the restaurant wasn’t making any money, and the eatery closed its doors for good in July 2018. Reviews of the food had been mixed, and the restaurant wasn’t able to broaden its appeal beyond families with children, Eater LA reported.
Eva Longoria's SHe Steakhouse
In May 2014, Eva Longoria’s “lady-friendly” Las Vegas steakhouse, SHe, shut down after just over a year of being open. According to Eater, the restaurant wasn’t able to bounce back after being temporarily closed in April of that year for health code violations.
Although she hasn’t had much luck as a restaurateur, Longoria is a celebrity who successfully runs her own charitable foundation.
Kayne West’s Pastelle Clothing Line
Before Yeezy graced the runways of New York Fashion Week, there was Pastelle. Rapper-turned-fashion designer Kanye West worked on the clothing line for more than a year, but in 2009 it was announced the items would never be released.
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Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell’s Fashion Café
Designed to capitalize on the theme restaurant craze of the 1990s, Fashion Café was a chic franchise co-owned by Christy Turlington, Claudia Schiffer, Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell.
The group’s New York City location opened in 1995, but dishes like Naomi’s Fish and Chips and the restaurant itself failed to resonate with fans and foodies alike. In 2000, the brothers who created Fashion Café, Tommaso and Francesco Buti, were indicted on 51 counts of fraud.
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Britney Spears’ Nyla Restaurant
She’s enjoyed plenty of No. 1 hits, but Britney Spears’ New York City restaurant Nyla wasn’t one of them. Named after her new and former home states — New York and Louisiana — the Midtown Manhattan eatery opened in June 2002 and featured menu items made with a Cajun flair.
In November of the same year, the pop star pulled out of the venture, claiming the restaurant was mismanaged. In a written statement, Spears said she was not involved in the daily operations of the establishment.
Her restaurant might have failed in New York, but Britney Spears succeeded with her show in Las Vegas.
Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken
Flavor Flav — one of the richest reality stars of the 2000s — tried his hand at the fast-food business, culminating in one of the more epic celebrity fails. Flavor Flav’s Fried Chicken in Clinton, Iowa, closed in April 2011, less than four months after it opened. The rapper told the Associated Press he blamed the restaurant’s manager Nick Cimino for not running the restaurant properly.
The restaurant’s Sterling Heights, Mich., outpost was evicted in July 2013. Flavor Flav’s House of Flavor in Las Vegas endured a similar fate, lasting just six months before closing in September 2012.
Kim, Khloe and Kourtney’s Kardashian Kard
Fans can’t get enough of the Kardashian sisters, but their Kardashian Kard only got 250 takers. Pulled from the market in November 2010 — less than a month after its debut — the prepaid debit Mastercard faced intense scrutiny over its high fees and the morality of marketing to a largely young, cash-strapped fan base.
A publicity nightmare for the Kardashians, then-Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal found the card so alarming he wrote a letter to University National Bank — the card’s issuer — questioning the legality of its fees.
Suzanne Somers’ Suzanne’s Kitchen
ThighMaster queen Suzanne Somers tried to venture into the food business, but things didn’t work out so well. Somers, her husband and their business partners launched do-it-yourself meal prep business Suzanne’s Kitchen in Lexington, Ky., in 2006, intending to franchise it. The partners didn’t see eye-to-eye on the importance of selling organic-only ingredients so the business closed in early 2007, just months after it launched.
As if that wasn’t bad enough for Somers, investor John Shannon Bouchillon sued her for the $400,000 he lost backing the business. The case was dismissed by a Kentucky judge.
Suzanne’s Kitchen might have been a failure, but Somers is still one of the most successful infomercial stars.
Mandy Moore’s Mblem Clothing Line
You might not have realized it, but singer and actress Mandy Moore, who stars on “This Is Us” — one of the TV shows with the highest-paid casts — had her own clothing line Mblem for a few years. Launched in 2005, the contemporary label ceased production in 2009. Moore was mostly tight-lipped on the closure but told Women’s Wear Daily the partnership wasn’t a true reflection of herself or her ideas.
Vicki Gunvalson’s Vicki’s Vodka
No one ever got to taste “The Real Housewives of Orange County” star Vicki Gunvalson’s vodka. In a series of Twitter posts in July 2015, Gunvalson claimed Vicki’s Vodka had been closed for two years and had never actually launched.
Gunvalson’s business partner Robert Williamson III sued her for $250,000 in 2013, claiming that she failed to promote the vodka, and that’s why it never took off. In July 2018, the “OG of the OC” settled the lawsuit, Page Six reported.
Hulk Hogan’s Pastamania Restaurant
When some celebrities open a business, they do little more than lend their star power to the brand, but not Hulk Hogan. Otherwise known as Terry Bollea, Hogan — who’s one of the richest reality stars of the 2000s — was both the conceptualizer and financier behind Pastamania, a restaurant he opened in the Mall of America back in 1995. Hogan tried his best to promote the eatery, but his efforts failed to keep it alive for even a year.
Natalie Portman’s Té Casan Vegan Shoes
Natalie Portman — one of the richest stars who is an immigrant — is a longtime vegan who had trouble finding cruelty-free shoes. Designed under the Té Casan label, Portman’s first collection debuted in January 2008, but in November of the same year, Té Casan closed its doors, taking down Portman’s vegan shoe line with it.
Nicky Hilton’s Nicky O Hotels
Hotel royalty Nicky Hilton announced plans to renovate two buildings into her own Nicky O branded hotel — her middle name is Olivia — back in 2006. One hotel was slated for Miami and the other Chicago, but they never opened. In February 2007, Hilton was sued by her business partners — Chicago development group Robert Falor Investments and Grand USA Hotel Supply & Restaurant — who claimed she failed to uphold her end of the deal.
David Hasselhoff’s Malibu Dave Clothing Line
Reportedly inspired by the popularity of the “Don’t Hassle the Hoff” shirt, David Hasselhoff announced plans for his Malibu Dave clothing line in 2006. Sales never took off, and the brand quickly vanished into obscurity.
Although his clothing line was a fail, he’s one celebrity who launched a successful music career, at least overseas.
Kevin Federline’s Otzi Kids’ Clothing Line
Once upon a time, Britney Spears’ rich ex-husband Kevin Federline had plans to launch his own children’s apparel brand Otzi. In 2008, the backup-dancer-turned-rapper told People that he was hoping to have the line in stores the following year. Nothing ever came of it.
Heidi Montag’s Heidiwood Clothing Line
She was a hit on “The Hills,” but Heidi Montag didn’t resonate in the fashion industry. Launched in April 2008, her Heidiwood clothing line for Anchor Blue contained affordable pieces in the $10-$60 range, but the retailer opted not to extend the contract past its initial one-year term. No specific reason was given for the separation, but a review by The Fug Girls in online fashion magazine The Cut criticized the clothes as containing low-quality material and too-revealing of designs.
Montag’s financial life went downhill from there: She went broke by overspending on expensive purses and plastic surgery.
Vince McMahon’s XFL
Marketed as a more violent and exciting version of the NFL, WWE founder Vince McMahon launched the XFL in 2001, and it lasted just one season. Despite the initial flop, McMahon announced in January 2018 that he would be relaunching the league in 2020, so it remains to be seen if it will be more successful this time around.
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Kim Basinger’s Town of Braselton, GA.
Definitely one of the more unusual celebrity fails, Kim Basinger joined a group of investors to purchase 1,700 acres of the town of Braselton, Ga. in 1990. They bought the area for $20 million.
A Georgia native, Basinger planned to turn the tiny town into a tourist attraction, commercial center and potential film studio site. None of this happened, and the group sold the town five years later for $4.3 million.
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.