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When celebrities do lifestyle websites


Gossip Girl star Blake Lively's new lifestyle website Preserve has gone live today.

The 26-year-old wrote in her editor's letter that she was "more intimidated than I should probably admit" as she introduced the site, which falls under three categories "Us", "The Greater Good" and "Shop".

"Sitting down to write this editor’s letter has been the hardest thing I've done yet on my Preserve journey," she began. "I’m more intimidated than I should probably admit. I’m no editor, no artisan, no expert. And certainly no arbiter of what you should buy, wear, or eat. I am hungry, though...and not just for enchiladas."

So what is Preserve? "Preserve is a creative space," she explains. "A space which honours both tradition and innovation - a space which honors the future, while having a love affair with the past ...we haven't looked at Preserve as a new website, but rather as a new street. A sort of greatest hits of "Main Street, USA". While the whole world races to keep up with technology, we tighten our laces, join the race, but our end goal is to preserve what's already there."

On the 'Greater Good' section of the website, Preserve admits "we are a for-profit business" but says that "As we mature so will our contribution both fiscally and physically" and it is partnered with charity Covenant House, which supports "homeless, trafficked and abused youth".

Since Gwyneth Paltrow's online lifestyle venture Goop surprised us all by actually taking off, a whole raft of celebrities have followed in her footsteps with aspirational websites, apps and social media posts designed to bridge the gap between our lives and their own, often with an e-commerce aspect thrown in.

Reese Witherspoon is set to be the next A-lister to launch a lifestyle brand and website after Lively. See what their new ventures are all about and how other stars have fared in the world of online lifestyle.

PRESERVE (click for link)

Celebrity: Blake Lively

Launched: 22nd July 2014

What is it? It has been dubbed a lifestyle website in most reports but in an interview with The Cut, the 26-year-old Gossip Girl star called it a "brand" saying she didn't "know if it’s a lifestyle site"

She says: In a new interview with Vogue, Lively says the site is "not trying to show you the perfect life or the aspirational life. It’s real life. It’s the thing that blindsides you on an idle Tuesday that’s tragic but that also makes you who you are. It’s not about me. And it’s not about watching my journey of learning how-to, it’s about me sharing that with you so we all sort of learn together"

What they say: It's basically another Goop

Is anyone else involved? Lively's husband Ryan Reynolds is not "officially on the Preserve team," but "his fingerprints will be all over it," according to the interview. Lively said that he has "written a lot of stuff for us."


Celebrity: Gwyneth Paltrow

Launched: 2008

What is it? A lifestyle website-come-weekly newsletter that also sells fashion, beauty, interior and kids products

What it says: "From creating a delicious recipe to finding a perfect dress for spring, Gwyneth began curating the best of lifestyle to help her readers save time, simplify and feel inspired ... Determined to publish a genuine and resourceful issue each week, for many, Goop has become their most trusted girlfriend on the web"

Is anyone else involved? British entrepreneur Seb Bishop was CEO from 2011 until April this year, quitting a month after Paltrow's 'conscious uncoupling' from singer husband Chris Martin

Best known for: Weekly newsletter with content filed under the headings 'Make, Go, Get, Do, Be, and See'

How much does it make? The website's outgoings - notably for Paltrow and the ex-CEO - exceeded its income, which mainly comes from product sales, in 2011 and 2012, according to Companies House documents acquired by Radar Online.


Celebrity: Reese Witherspoon

To launch: 2015

What is it? A "multi-channel lifestyle brand," aka a lifestyle company with a website and a retail store

Why Draper James? Witherspoon's nieces are called Draper and Abby James

Best known for: "Bed and bath products, lingerie, handbags, kitchenware, fragrance and cosmetics, furniture, swimwear, pens, pencils, stationary, swaddling blankets and even plastic storage containers," according to trademark applications seen by eonline.com

What they say: "It will emphasise her southern roots and personal style"

Is anyone else involved? Andrea Hyde, the former president of US retail brand C. Wonder has been hired by the actress to act as the CEO of the brand.


Celebrity: Olivia Palermo

Launched: 2011

What is it? A lifestyle website covering fashion, beauty, accessories, lifestyle, travel and tips

Tagline: Style, fashion, and design and the individuals who excel in these industries around the world

Best known for: Fashion products from Palermo's own range, what she's wearing and tips such as 'Olivia's Guide to Entertaining'

What they say: “We wanted to position Olivia as an authority in the fashion space,” said Dana Randall, the chief strategic officer for FORM MGMT, a brand agency hired to administer the site, according to The New York Times

Is anyone else involved? Palermo's model husband Johannes Huebl is listed as "Head of Business & Managing Partner".


Celebrity: Jay-Z

Launched: 2011

What is it? A website covering style, leisure, art and design, technology, sports and Jay-Z's music insterests

What it says: Curated by Shawn "JAY Z" Carter, JAY Z's Life+Times is a digital experience covering art, sports, music, fashion and culture.

Best known for: The rapper's sporadic and sparsely worded posts

What they say: "Perhaps the lack of exuberance over one of the world’s biggest and most enviably glamorous stars talking directly to his fans online is that he’s not doing the talking," the New York Observer wrote of the website's low-key launch

Is anyone else involved? Everyone from specialist freelance writers to supermodel Jourdan Dunn teaching people how to cook Peri Peri Chicken.


Celebrity: Kate Bosworth

Launched: 2014

What is it? An app that tells you the make of clothes and accessories, so you can take pictures of a coveted fashion item and find out where to buy it for yourself

How it works: Upload the picture and click “shop” to be taken to the retailer’s website. You can also receive notifications if there's a price change.

What it says: "With Style Thief you can easily search for, find and buy any fashion apparel you see on the street, TV, internet or anywhere else!"

Best known for: Being set up by style-savvy Bosworth

What she says: "Everyone has fashion envy,” Bosworth told WWD. “Everyone can relate to that feeling of looking at an editorial, for example – or a friend, or the runway, for that matter – [and] wanting to steal something exactly as you’re seeing it, or something similar”

Is anyone else involved? Entrepreneur Samantha Russ.


Celebrity: Lauren Conrad

Launched: 2011

What is it? An advice-led lifestyle website covering everything from "primping" and fashion to dining, decoration and craft with a "boutique" section with products from Conrad's fashion range for US department store chain Kohl's.

Tagline: Your front-row pass to all things lovely & chic

She said: “I needed a website that would act as a hub for my brand”

Best known for: Plenty of diet and fitness posts

Is anyone else involved? Digital media company Everyday Health.


Celebrity: Gisele

What is it? A site that links to the supermodel's increasingly active, high-profile and occasionally controversial social media accounts, as well as her 'Intimates' lingerie line

Best known for: A widely-criticised post (now removed) written by Equipe Übersite and promoted on the model's Twitter account that suggested hospital births are "violent"

What they say: "Look at Gisele Bündchen, who has been amping up her personal brand (worth an estimated $40m a year) with increasingly intimate Instagram pictures of her doing yoga with her kids on the beach in Malibu, or breastfeeding them while her hair and makeup is done at home," Sophie Heawood wrote in The Guardian. "These are huge marketing tools in the sale of her underwear brand, among other things. Yet these candid, casual shots, from the woman herself, are actually carefully controlled photoshoots, with an employee probably taking the pictures and uploading them to Bündchen's account"

Is anyone else involved? A rep for the model blamed the "violent" hospital births piece on "a website team".


Celebrity: Zooey Deschanel

Launched: 2011

What is it? Cheery entertainment and lifestyle news and internet titbits as approved by America's queen of kook

Best known for: Original posts from contributers and "Cute Cams"

What it says: "hellogiggles.com is the ultimate entertainment destination for smart, independent and creative females. Everything hosted on the site will be lady-friendly, so visitors need not worry about finding the standard Boys Club content that makes many entertainment sites unappealing to so many of us"

She says: "I just felt it's important to teach young girls to be strong people, to not think, I can't do this because I'm worried about what people will say," she told marieclaire.com. "There are worse consequences, but online negativity stops people from being creative, part of which is having bad ideas as well as good ideas. When somebody says, 'That idea's stupid,' you stop your flow of ideas. We can't have the next generation be so afraid because they have been attacked"

Is anyone else involved? Deschanel's friends Molly McAleer, a writer, and producer Sophia Rossi.


Celebrity: Meghan Markle

Launched: 2014

What is it? A sleek lifestyle blog covering food, travel, fashion, beauty and "influencers" as curated by the Suits star

What it says: "The TIG is a hub for the discerning palate - those with a hunger for food, travel, fashion & beauty. I wanted to create a space to share all of these loves - to invite friends to share theirs as well, and to be the breeding ground for ideas & excitement - for an inspired lifestyle. This is the TIG, and this is just the beginning"

Best known for: Being brand new - it launched on May 5th this year and interviews with everyone from writer Fatima Bhutto to US fashion designer Wes Gordon

What they say: "What makes The TIG stand out is that it's not one of those billion other websites," said examiner.com. "Meghan and her team of influencers - including friends like actresses Dianna Agron and Emmy Rossum, and model Jessica Stam - aren't driven by article clicks or advertising dollars. They're coming together to share subjects and viewpoints they're passionate about, and that comes across in the site's content. There's a sincerity and an authenticity here that you don't usually find"

Is anyone else involved? The actresses listed above.



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