In episodes that aired last fall, Ms. Conrad had a casual relationship with Brody Jenner, the 24-year-old son of Olympian Bruce Jenner. The younger Mr. Jenner has tried to achieve his own reality-TV success on the short-lived "Princes of Malibu" on Fox. Last year he was featured on the E! reality show "Keeping Up with the Kardashians." Ms. Conrad says that she and Brody "have an odd relationship" but she is happy to have him in her life. "He's a cute guy who's OK with filming," she says.
The star makes money on her clothing line only if it is profitable. Kitson boutique owner Fraser Ross says it's selling well. Will it catch on with nonfans? "It's too early to tell," he says. Ms. Conrad teamed up with leather-goods maker Linea Pelle on a line of bags ($45 to $350), sold online only. The company says it has sold "hundreds."
Ms. Conrad received no advance payment from Tangerine, but it did grant her creative control. Of all of her commitments, she says, "I spend the most amount of time on the line, and it's the thing that makes me the least amount of money."
Earlier this year, Kitson, a boutique in a Beverly Hills shopping district, offered to host a party to celebrate the collection. Kitson parties are known for attracting a lot of press. Ms. Conrad preferred to have the party at Intuition, a smaller boutique in an area with less foot traffic. Her publicist, Ms. Perez, says she pushed for Kitson, telling her client: "Lauren, we could make it huge -- every magazine would cover it." The party was at Intuition. "It didn't get a lot of coverage," Ms. Perez says.
Her first collection, for spring 2008, just arrived in stores. The Lauren Conrad Collection now appears in nearly 500 boutiques. A spokeswoman for Holt Renfrew, a Canadian department store, says that in the last two weeks, the line has generated a 28% sell-through rate (the percentage of items bought at full retail price) at its nine locations. An average sell-through rate at the stores is just over 10%.
The job of promoting Ms. Conrad to an older audience falls to Ms. Perez. She has gotten her client on the cover of teen magazines. But Ms. Perez hasn't been able to land what she considers a coveted prize: a cover of Cosmopolitan magazine.
Ms. Conrad says she will continue to work hard to prove herself as a designer. She's designing a line of T-shirts. She wants to do "a best friend project" -- most likely a line of furniture -- with one of her roommates. And she plans to launch a charitable foundation. "I don't think I should be criticized for taking advantage of an opportunity to realize my dream," she says. "It'd be silly not to."