- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 7, 2007

On the red carpet, the only question anyone really wants a celeb to answer is, “Who are you wearing?” With the style selections of famous folks so carefully dissected then ultimately disseminated to the public (What young woman didn’t have the Jennifer Aniston haircut in the mid ‘90s?), it’s no wonder that the religious choices of Hollywood-types like Madonna and Richard Gere are also driving sales of merchandise. These products might not get anyone closer to heaven, but they sure make a person look hip.

Red string Kabbalah bracelet — Livestrong bands may be exiled to the dresser drawer soon, now that the red string bracelet affiliated with the school of Jewish mysticism known as Kabbalah has caught on. It’s all thanks to Madge’s celebrity endorsement — and Amazon.com, which is standing by to take orders now.

Puma’s Nuala line — Why should nirvana seekers have to “slum it” in tie-dyed hippie gear? Thanks to Christy Turlington’s yoga-inspired clothing line for Puma, they can chant their way to bliss looking like they just walked off Rodeo Drive.

“Jesus is My Homie” T-shirt — Nothing says “I love J.C. and the rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle” quite like this hot-ticket item. Coming soon to a Vans Warped Tour near you.

Bindi jewels — Hindu men and married women believe wearing these traditionally red jewels on their foreheads will strengthen concentration and protect against bad luck. In recent years, stars such as Shakira, Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain have been seen sporting more colorful versions, prompting stores to mass-produce the self-adhesive kind.

Virgin of Guadalupe kitsch — Maybe she’s an incarnation of Mother Mary; maybe she’s just a Mexican religious icon. What is clear, however, is that her image is becoming uber trendy and has popped up everywhere from a tattoo on rocker Dave Navarro’s left arm to switchplates made for home use. Let the light shine, indeed.

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