Celebrity shapeshifters: American stars turned creative entrepreneurs

Hailing from the realms of celebrity music and cinema, through their creative excellence and entrepreneurship these stars help redefine jewellery, fashion, art and more

Pharrell Williams Louis Vuitton catwalk bow, as part of our celebrity shapeshifters story
Louis Vuitton Men's Creative Director Pharrell Williams acknowledges the applause of the audience after the Louis Vuitton Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 20, 2023 in Paris, France
(Image credit: Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images)

The Wallpaper* USA 300 is a window into creative America: as part of our spotlight on 300 talents forging new paths through America’s creative landscape, we looked at the all-American celebrity phenomenon. Hailing from the realms of music and cinema, these stars’ creative excellence and entrepreneurship capably stretches beyond their chosen performing art to redefine the role of creativity in design, fashion, art and beyond. 


Portia De Rossi

Portia De Rossi General public

Among General Public's recent collaborators is artist Dara Barker, whose works are inspired by vintage textiles and the practice of Wabi-sabi. Baker's works are available through RH

(Image credit: Courtesy General Public)

Former actress Portia De Rossi founded General Public in 2018. The idea was rooted in the cause that art should be for everyone, and not limited to one individual or location. She said : ‘What if there was only one copy of a novel in existence that one person got to read. It sounds ridiculous. That’s how I feel about a painting.’ From this, the art lover and collector developed Synograph, a new form of printing technology that mimics in precise detail the texture and  brushstrokes of original artwork, allowing a larger audience to take part in curating their own collection of artworks. With her project, De Rossi aims at changing the face of art collecting, and allowing artists to create art and get paid for doing it. Among her collaborations is an ongoing partnership with American design brand RH, with some artworks sold on the company's website and its locations across the US and at Aynho Park, UK. Writer: Tianna Williams


Angelina Jolie

Atelier Jolie by Angelina Jolie

(Image credit: @atelierjolieofficial)

Atelier Jolie was announced earlier this year by Hollywood actress, and namesake, Angelina Jolie. From her varied humanitarian work Jolie has always been dedicated to helping people. Combine this with her stunning red carpet looks throughout the decades, it is only natural that Jolie would build a brand for creators to be treated fairly within the fashion industry. Atelier Jolie encourages artists to collaborate and create with experienced tailors, pattern makers and artisans from around the world, building a safe space for people to design freely. With sustainability at the forefront only  deadstock and vintage materials are used with preference to repair or upcycle current pieces. 

Atelier Jolie has recently collaborated with Chloe - one of the only luxury B-Corp brands in the industry, to create a ready-to-wear capsule collection with earnings being invested in establishing apprenticeships for tailors and artisans at Atelier Jolie. Among the brand's upcoming project is the opening of a space in New York, inside the building that once housed Jean-Michel Basquiat's studio. Writer: Tianna Williams 


Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson at Fondazione Prada

'Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures' at Fondazione Prada, Milan

(Image credit: Courtesy Fondazione Prada)

From filmmaker (see our behind-the-scenes of Asteroid City) to art exhibition curator, Anderson has successfully translated his hyper-curated aesthetic into a bigger cultural experience. In 2018, his exhibition Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures was on view at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and a year later at Fondazione Prada, Milan. In collaboration with his partner, writer and illustrator Juman Malouf, Anderson combed through the institution’s vast historical collection to assemble more than 400 objects into thematic rooms, showcasing curiosities from emu eggs to Spanish powdered wig boxes, all displayed through a bespoke installation. 

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga dancing in campaign image for Dom Pérignon 2013 Vintage

Lady Gaga in an image from the photographic campaign for Dom Pérignon 2013 Vintage

(Image credit: © Mario Sorrenti, courtesy of Dom Pérignon)

One of the most talented artists of her generation, singer and actress Lady Gaga is also founder of cosmetics brand Haus Labs, which she started in 2019. Powered by by artistry and innovation, the brand offers make up and body art based on principles of inclusivity and self-acceptance. Among the artists' multifaceted talents is a wide-reaching creative practice that includes a collaboration with Champagne house Dom Pérignon, most recently starring in the campaign for its 2013 vintage. The film was directed by Woodkid, who also composed its score, while Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui oversaw choreography and Gaga’s long-time collaborator Nicola Formichetti styled the costumes. For the occasion, Gaga spoke about her view on creativity: 'this campaign was about those of us who have made it our life mission. That’s all we do. I spent all day today making art. All I did was create all day long, and I just stared at it and listened to it and just worked… It is a labour of love. And it’s important to do that because it’s a real privilege to make art. So you have to work hard because some people don’t have the privilege.’


Seth Rogen

Seth Rogen Houseplant portrait

(Image credit: Courtesy Houseplant)

Houseplant is the brainchild of actor Seth Rogen and film producer Evan Goldberg, who joined forces to launch the cannabis brand in their native Canada in 2018 (followed by a US launch in 2021). Selling one-of-a-kind marijuana as well as related cannabis accessories, Houseplant is born from, as Rogen puts it, ‘our love and passion for cannabis, design, and art.’ Its offering includes cannabis essentials, from trays to lighters, as well as a series of household pieces. Dubbed Housegoods, the collection is designed by Rogen to ‘evoke a sense of nostalgia while sliding seamlessly into a modern lifestyle’. 


Pharrell Williams

Pharrell Williams in black and white image wearing T-shirt

(Image credit: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton)

Pharrell's creative pursuits have firmly been on the Wallpaper* radar since the musician turned multidisciplinary creative served as a Judge in our Design Awards in 2011. Since then, Pharrell has left few design stones unturned, from his all gender skincare Humanrace to entrepreneurial collective I Am Other whose creative output included a sustainable dining kit in collaboration with Pentatonic to curating a series of art auctions. Most recently, Pharrell was named Creative Director of Louis Vuitton (the first black designer in the role), and his first show in June 2023 played with the maison's traditional design codes in innovative ways. 


Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore

(Image credit: Photography: Inez & Vinoodh)

We have been following Julianne Moore's design passion with interest over the past years, as the American actress' Instagram has been chronicling her design collecting (from Noguchi's Akari lamps and Charlotte Perriand shelving to Rogan Gregory's organic, abstract objects), building her homes with pieces like Mario Bellini's Le Bambole sofa for B&B Italia, pottery-making and visiting design destinations such as Le Corbusier's Paris apartment. We were so taken by her shapeshifting abilities that we asked her to serve as a Wallpaper* Design Awards judge, and to compile a design handbook of favourite brands, masters and galleries. ‘We’re inundated with so much sensation all the time, that sometimes it is difficult to differentiate.' she told Wallpaper*. 'And design allows you to do that: it can call your attention to something, give you some space around something, it can give you an actual emotional experience. And the more you could do that in your life, the better.’

Frank Ocean

Colourful store interior of Homer New York store

Frank Ocean's Homer store in New York

(Image credit: Courtesy of Homer)

Founded in 2018, with its true launch in August 2021, Frank Ocean’s independent jewellery and accessories brand, Homer, made its home in Chinatown within the five-storey New York Jewellers Exchange building. Glass and metal vitrines house Homer’s fine and high jewellery, such as a turquoise enamel pendant in the shape of a doll inlaid with lab-grown diamonds, with some accessories such as silk scarves in the space designed in collaboration with Michael Abel and Nile Greenberg of ANY. Some of the pieces reach six figures: Ocean reportedly once said he wants nothing to be less expensive than Cartier. Writer: Tilly Macalister-Smith


Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.