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'Fashion Star' notches strong clothing sales despite soft debut ratings


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 03/20/2012 

Fashion Star has managed to sell its designers' winning ensembles despite delivering soft premiere ratings for last week's premiere of the new NBC Project Runway-like reality competition.

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"Sales of Fashion Star merchandise exceeded expectations," Macy's spokesperson Holly Thomas told TV Guide.

Most of the winning designs from Fashion Star's March 13 premiere -- which were purchased by Macy's buyer Caprice Willard, Saks Fifth Avenue buyer Terron E. Schaefer and H&M buyer Nicole Christie during the show's first episode and then made available via the retailers' websites and stores beginning that same night -- have sold out fast.

"The people who showed up were coming to buy," executive producer Ben Silverman told TV Guide of viewers who visited the three retailers' websites. "The click-through rate on purchase was hundreds of percentage points higher than normal."

During last Tuesday night's premiere, Willard bought three designs from the show's contestants for Macy's, and one of those ensembles sold out in its online store the very next day.

Fashion Star's designer Nikki Poulos created a dress which Macy's sold for $89, and it reportedly "sold out in less than 12 hours, and other items have sold out in certain sizes," according to Thomas. "Traffic to the store and the site have been very strong."

In addition, Saks Fifth Avenue sold out of its supply of $350 miniskirts designed by contestant Orly Shani, while H&M sold out of its much more inexpensively priced $19.95 dress by Sarah Parrott.

However, Fashion Star's three retailers have declined to disclose how many of its winning designs they had initially ordered and actually had in stock, TV Guide reported. 
 
Fashion Star features Willard, Schaefer and Christie vying for the right to purchase and exclusively carry the work of the up-and-coming designers each week. The designers who do not sell any of their items to the buyers face elimination, but mentors Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and John Varvatos have the ability to save one of the contestants.

The winner of Fashion Star will receive a multi-million dollar contract to launch their own line in Macy's, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue.

While it reportedly finished first in its time period in the Adults 18-49 demographic, Fashion Star averaged only 4.55 million viewers during last week's special 9:30-11PM ET/PT premiere.

Fashion Star's second episode will air tonight at 10PM ET/PT on NBC.

(Photo credit NBC)


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