Lauren Conrad, Reality TV Stars Try to Build Brands

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Lauren Conrad is famous for being on reality TV.

But what The Hills star and so many other quasi-celebrities of her ilk really want is to run her very own merchandising empire.

The Hills' cameras have captured LC as a fashion intern and club-goer. Now, in an effort to translate her fame into a real fashion career, she and her father have assembled a team of Hollywood-industry advisers and signed several deals.

The process isn't always smooth, though, as MTV won't promote her enterprises on air, and Lauren Conrad, herself determined to assert her fashion vision, sometimes ignores the suggestions of her more seasoned advisers.

"I'm sure a lot of people don't take me seriously," she says.

Lauren Conrad Fashion Show

Lauren Conrad at her recent L.A. Fashion Week show.

Many celebrities are trying to emulate the success of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who parlayed roles on a TV sitcom into a multimillion-dollar conglomerate.

Lauren Conrad represents the next generation of branding - reality TV stars famous only for their willingness to let cameras into their private lives.

Last week, Ms. Conrad's nemesis on The Hills, Heidi Montag, announced her own plans to launch a clothing line opposite Lauren's.

And from E! reality show Sunset Tan, tanning-salon owners Devin Haman and Jeff Bozz recently came out with a line of tanning moisturizers.

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Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.