Over the years, there have been quite a few famous faces fronting shoe ad campaigns and even designing exclusive collections for brands such as Reebok, Crocs and K-Swiss. Skechers has built its $4 billion empire with the help of a long list of celebrity ambassadors, ranging from Grammy Award-winning singers Carrie Underwood and Christina Aguilera to sports legends Sugar Ray Leonard and Wayne Gretzky.
While some of these shoe-shilling stars have gone on to even greater fame, others have seen their careers tarnished by scandal and controversy. Here’s a look at 10 former brand ambassadors and what they’re up to now.
1. Bristol Palin for Candie’s
Thrust into the spotlight during mother Sarah Palin’s unsuccessful run for vice president in 2008, Bristol Palin — who gave birth to her first child, Tripp, at 18 — was tapped in 2009 to serve as a Teen Pregnancy Prevention Ambassador for Candie’s nonprofit foundation. The now-27-year-old went on to star in two seasons of “Dancing With the Stars,” as well as the Lifetime reality series “Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp,” which chronicled her adventures as a young mom. Still, her personal life has had plenty of ups and downs, including several broken engagements, controversy surrounding her anti-gay comments, a drunken brawl at a family party in 2014 and a pending divorce from husband Dakota Meyer.
2. Nick Jonas for Creative Recreation
After gaining popularity from appearances on The Disney Channel, Nick Jonas became a teen sensation as one-third of the megasuccessful boy band Jonas Brothers alongside siblings Kevin and Joe. But after five albums and eight years touring together, the group called it quits in 2013. Nick went on to launch a successful solo career, pumping out hits including “Jealous,” “Find You” and “Close.” He has also dabbled in acting, making cameos in “Scream Queens,” “Kingdom” and “Jumanji.” Last year, the streetwear and sneaker fan jumped into the shoe business, collaborating with Creative Recreation on a capsule of kicks for men. And if there is any truth to the rampant fan speculation, Nick and his brothers could be primed for a comeback: In January, the band’s Instagram account was mysteriously reactivated.
3. Christina Aguilera for Skechers
Following in former pop rival Britney Spears’ footsteps, Christina Aguilera signed with Skechers in 2003. Her racy “Naughty and Nice”-themed marketing campaign for the brand ruffled quite a few feathers and even resulted in one print spot — in which she was dressed as a sexy nurse — being banned after a number of nursing unions filed complaints. But the controversy didn’t slow the “Genie in a Bottle” singer’s rise to fame. In addition to a thriving music career, Aguilera — now a mom of two — starred in several seasons of “The Voice,” had a guest role in the TV drama “Nashville” and appeared on the big screen in “Burlesque” and “The Emoji Movie.”
4. Jillian Michaels for K-Swiss
Tough-talking celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels became a household name on NBC’s weight loss competition series “The Biggest Loser.” Her popularity with everyday fitness enthusiasts landed her an endorsement deal with K-Swiss in 2010, which was quickly followed by the launch of her own activewear collection for the brand. These days, Michaels, who is married and has two young children, is focused on building her own health and fitness company, Empowered Media, with exclusive programs such as Body Revolution and BodyShred.
5. Lea Michele for Candie’s
Lea Michele got her start on the Broadway stage as a young child actress featured in classic productions like “Les Misérables” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” In 2009, she took her singing talents to TV, starring in the hit series “Glee” until its conclusion in 2015. Following fellow pop singers Ashlee Simpson and Britney Spears, Michele signed on as the face of Candie’s in 2012, appearing in a series of sassy ads. Now 31, the actress-singer is starring in “The Mayor,” a new ABC comedy series about a struggling hip-hop artist who runs for mayor to promote his mixtape and winds up winning the election.
6. Demi Lovato for Skechers
Former child actress Demi Lovato got her first big break in the Disney Channel movie “Camp Rock,” with a soundtrack that included the hit single “This Is Me,” sung by Lovato and Joe Jonas. After landing a recording contract with Hollywood Records, Lovato released her first solo effort, “Don’t Forget,” in 2008, which was followed by five other successful albums. In 2014, she inked a two-year deal to star in Skechers’ global marketing and social media campaigns, which led to her collaborating on designs for the brand. Over the years, Lovato has been very candid about her ongoing personal struggles, including addictions, self-harm, bulimia and bipolar disorder.
7. Swizz Beatz for Reebok
Swizz Beatz, the 39-year-old hip-hop legend — whose real name is Kasseem Dean — has produced numerous hit singles for artists including DMX, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eve and Busta Rhymes. In 2010, he kicked off a collaborative partnership with Reebok that is still going strong today. Last month, he unveiled his latest design for the brand: the Disruptive Kind x Reebok DMX Run sneaker, detailed with sleek metallic copper accents. Dean also juggles a busy family life — he and wife Alicia Keys have two young sons together, and last summer, he completed his studies at Harvard Business School, earning a certificate from the Owner/President Management Program.
8. Mario Batali for Crocs
After more than 20 years on the Food Network, the celebrity chef and restaurant owner landed a co-host gig on the daytime talk show “The Chew” in 2011. Famous for wearing bright-orange Crocs clogs — he reportedly bought 200 pairs in 2016 when he learned his signature color was being discontinued — Batali parlayed his love for the brand into his own namesake line of Bistro Mario Batali Vent clogs, which launched in 2007. But his carefully built empire came crashing down last year when he joined the long list of high-profile men accused of sexual misconduct. He has since stepped away from the daily operations of his restaurants and has been removed from his role on “The Chew.”
9. Julianne Hough for Sole Society
Since making her name as a professional ballroom dancer on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars,” Julianne Hough has built a successful acting career, starring in such films as “Footloose” and “Safe Haven,” as well as the live-TV production of “Grease.” She also released a country music album in 2008 that debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard Top 200. In 2012, the fashion lover teamed up with Sole Society to appear in the retailer’s ads and design her own guest collection. These days, Hough is enjoying married life with her new husband, NHL player Brooks Laich. The two tied the knot last year in an outdoor wedding near Hough’s family home in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
10. Meghan Trainor for Skechers
With the release of her smash hit “All About That Base” in 2014, Meghan Trainor became a poster girl for body confidence, inspiring women around the world to embrace their curves. Her relatable and empowering message caught the attention of Skechers, which signed the bubbly pop singer as a brand ambassador in 2015. Since then, the Grammy Award winner has released a second studio album, “Thank You,” and recorded a third album that is slated to debut this year. On her 24th birthday in December, Trainor became engaged to actor Daryl Sabara. She is currently starring as a judge on the new Fox music competition series “The Four,” alongside Sean Combs and DJ Khaled.
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