Universal Pictures has signed a brand licensing partnership deal with HSN, the leader in multi-channel retail, to create an online pop-up shop with exclusive merchandise inspired by the upcoming feature film, Snow White and the Huntsman, which opens June 1. The 24-hour HSN event will take place on Wednesday, May 30, across all of HSN’s platforms, including TV, HSN.com and HSN mobile. HSN’s Snow White and the Huntsman-inspired collection will be curated by top HSN designers, who have selected exclusive products reflecting the spirit of the film.
This year may be known as the year that reality television revitalizes the fashion industry. Entertainment properties have always influenced fashion trends, but this year many reality shows have gone one step further: several reality programs are launching fashion lines at major retailers. “Fashion Star,” “American Idol” and “Que Viva: The Chosen” have partnered with major retailers including Macy’s, H&M, Saks Fifth Avenue and Kohl’s to bring viewers the latest looks from the second screen.
Target Debuts Jason Wu and The Shops; Target’s Brand Identity Crisis Continues
When you say the name Jason Wu, you instantly visualize iconic images of Michelle Obama, beautifully crafted Brizo home fixtures, fun jelly shoes from Melissa and leather goods like those pictured below. Jason Wu has been a designer that’s been very careful and licensing his name, until today.
H&M and Trish Summerville, costume designer for David Fincher’s version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, have launched a women’s collection inspired by the film’s heroine, Lisbeth Salander. The 30-piece collection has the dark post-punk feel with leather jackets and trousers, torn jeans and hoodies all in industrial shades of black, grey, worn white or dark red. The collection arrives in Divided departments in around 100 H&M stores worldwide today.
Licensing in fashion used to be invisible. Some might argue that it’s meant to be invisible, but this is changing. And fashion is changing with it.
What is licensing exactly? One person, a licensor, has some intellectual property. Something that multiple people think is cool. Another person has nothing cool, but they have a clothing factory. Person A, the licensor, rents her coolness to person B, the licensee, for a price.
In collaboration (aka very cool licensing agreement) with LG Electronics, Jill Sander, the German fashion house has decided to take a step into the lifestyle brand arena by launching its first mobile phone design.
Running on Windows Phone 7.5, the latest smartphone OS by Microsoft, the Jil Sander Mobile include a 3.8 touchscreen, 5 MP camera with auto focus and LED flash, HD video at 720p, WiFi and a digital compass.
Fashion Star, a NBC reality tv series hosted by Elle McPherson, pits designers against each other in a contest to see who can design the best clothes for regular people. Variety reports that in a 10-episode show, 14 unknown designers compete to have their lines launched in department stores around the country.
When Macala attended the Licensing International Expo last month, we all came to the realization that there is a sexy side to apparel licensing. With a variety of products and big brand names, licensing is a serious business.
Erin Weinger of Style Section LA was in attendance and did a great job of explaining the 10 things she learned about apparel licensing at the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas. Here is a summary.
1. It pays to think about the big picture. When embarking on a licensing adventure, it’s smart to envision what you want your business to look like down the line, then craft your agreements accordingly. Dream big; even if you’re starting out with a small, local gig, you may grow later and wish you had left yourself open for bigger deals.
2. Look for longevity. Instead of partnering with trendy brands, it’s wise to align your brand with those that have proven themselves through the test of time.
3. Retail sales of licensed fashion goods were down last year, but that’s okay. We’re trying to recover from a recession, and things have looked worse. There is still plenty of potential in this arena.
4. Be prepared to create a lifestyle brand. If you want to move into apparel licensing, you’ll be following in the footsteps of Tommy Hilfiger, Perry Ellis, Martha Stewart, Juicy Couture and True Religion. Fasten your seat belt and get ready to move outside the apparel box.
5. Keep the quality. Entering the world of apparel licensing doesn’t mean you have to dilute your brand or ruin your reputation. It’s important to choose quality partners that ensure quality products that align with your brand’s image.
6. It’s all about the timing. It’s important to launch your line at the time that it would be best received. If your idea has already been done, it’s too late and you’ll have to move on and figure out the next big thing (and your timing). In apparel licensing, the early bird often gets the worm.
7. Don’t be afraid to go high-end. If your brand is strong and you believe in it, there’s no reason you can’t go after premium pricing, even despite difficult economic times.
8. Do what you do best and license the rest. It’s important for longevity’s sake to stick to the things you excel in making for your brand. However, through the glory of licensing you can extend your brand beyond your area of expertise.
9. Know your market. Know who your market is and what you want it to be. Choose to create products through licensing that appeal to your target consumer.
10. A design trademarked in the U.S. is only trademarked in the U.S. There is a great deal of legal work that goes on behind the scenes in the licensing world. A good lawyer is obviously a must-have when it comes to apparel licensing.
For more information, visit the Licensing International Expo blog.