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Michael Stars, the Los Angeles-based sportswear firm known for its “one-size-fits-most” T-shirts, is launching an accessories division for spring.
This story first appeared in the October 6, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The company signed a licensing deal with Green Tea, also from Los Angeles, to produce handbags, scarves, hats and shoes. An additional optical line will be produced in partnership with Signature Optical.
The collection retails from $28 for a viscose jersey scarf to $85 for a Grecian leather sandal. The eyewear will retail for $75 to $125.
“Accessories make sense and it’s a total natural extension for us,” said Michael Cohen, founder of Michael Stars. “Our sportswear goes perfectly with accessories. All of our products were inspired by the lifestyle of our customer. They lead an easygoing life and our accessories reflect that.”
Cohen estimates the accessories line could generate sales of $3 million to $5 million at retail in its first three years. Distribution will be aimed at the firm’s current store accounts, including Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom, as well as specialty boutiques. The accessories will also bow at the seven Michael Stars stores in such places as downtown Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Las Vegas.
Michael Stars was founded 22 years ago when Cohen moved to Los Angeles from South Africa and decided to start a T-shirt line that epitomized the laid-back attitude of seaside living.
“The beach influences everything we do,” Cohen said. “I was born in a beach town, I live in a beach town and I wanted our T-shirts to reflect that.”
Two years ago the firm began branching out with activewear, cashmere sweaters, dresses and a baby line called Mikey Stars. But Cohen always knew he would eventually venture into accessories, saying he considers his signature T-shirts to be more like accessories than apparel.
“Women buy our shirts consciously knowing that they go with virtually everything,” Cohen said. “They wear them to go jogging or to go work at Bank of America under a gray suit. They go every which way and our accessories are like the shirts, they go with everything.”