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Stars ignite fashion passion

Celebrities step out at Kids' Choice Awards

While the Olsens and Hilary Duff helm multimillion-dollar lifestyle empires, other tween icons are working hard to build their brands through licensing agreements and by shilling for fashion and beauty companies.

The one thing they all have in common: These young gals can touch off a trend simply by being snapped coming out of Starbucks. Here’s a look at the stars setting the styles for the tween market:

The tabloid target is a front-row regular at fashion shows like Marc Jacobs, and even accompanied Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld to the Council of Fashion Designers Awards in New York City last summer. Her grown-up tastes and legions of young fans were undoubtedly the two best reasons Prada tapped her as the face of its younger — but still pricey — sibling brand Miu Miu for its spring/summer ads.

Her breakthrough role as the fashion-savvy but emotionally unstable teen on Fox’s now-defunct primetime sudser “The OC” made Barton a hot property to companies looking to up their cool quotient with the younger set. “Everyone wants to dress her,” says stylist Rachel Zoe, who has outfitted Barton for many of her red-carpet appearances.

Neutrogena, Dooney & Bourke and Bebe have all featured the willowy star in their ads. She’s currently stepping out for Keds. The footwear brand has pinned its hopes on Barton to deliver the daughters and granddaughters of their much-older core customers.

Under the tutelage of celebrity stylist Zoe, the “Simple Life” star came out from the shadow of on-again/off-again BFF relationship with Paris Hilton and emerged a true fashionista. She reportedly pocketed $2.5 million for appearing in Jimmy Choo’s national ads last year. Her ubiquitous presence in magazines like Us and InTouch has sent countless wannabes into stores looking to emulate her signature look of bug-eyed sunglasses and super skinny jeans.

“I love fashion,” says Richie. “I’m flattered that young girls want to wear the things I do, but I don’t consider myself a role model.”

The 25-year-old celebutante recently added “designer” to her resume — and she’s hoping her foray into fashion will fare better than sister Nicky’s junior sportswear line, Chick. BBC Apparel Group has licensed Hilton’s name for a line of girly sportswear and lingerie scheduled to hit the stores this fall. The sometime actress and one-time singer also has the requisite fragrance, a line of handbags and a watch collection that bear her name. Of her latest venture, BBC Apparel Group execs have said: “She’s made a commitment to this and is serious about it.”

Who cares if she’s bald or being accused of being a bad mother? Not the tweens who still want to emulate — or at least smell like — the troubled pop tart. Her first fragrance, Curious, launched in May 2005, is ranked as one of the top five bestselling scents of the last decade. As of last year, more than 10 million bottles of her three licensed fragrances, marketed by Elizabeth Arden, had been sold.

Her recent troubles have seemingly had no effect on her ability to pitch perfume.

“When she was photographed coming out of my store with a shopping bag during her latest stay in rehab, I had mothers calling me asking what fragrance she bought,” says Intuition owner Jaye Hersh. “They want their preteen daughters to smell like Britney.”

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