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BEVERLY HILLS — Warner Bros. is hoping that Tweety, the studio’s animated canary, spreads its wings here with the opening of a temporary boutique for the latest designer collection based on the character.
This story first appeared in the June 27, 2007 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Through collaborations with 45 designers, Warner Bros. is seeking to push beyond junior and contemporary brands and cater to a more sophisticated female shopper. The items range from $23 Havaianas flip-flops to an $8,000 Jean Yu couture gown.
The designers include Allegra Hicks, Alexandre Herchcovitch, Alexander Wang, Alice + Olivia, Alice Ritter, Charlotte Ronson, Cybèle, Erickson Beamon, Eugenia Kim, Havaianas, Inca, Issa London, James Jeans, Jean Yu, Junk Food, Miss Davenporte, Molales, Rafe, Rebecca Beeson, Rosa Chá and Thakoon. Some are producing one-off items and others designed three to six items apiece.
The Tweety collection began two years ago, part of a Warner Bros. Consumer Products initiative to capitalize on its stable of iconic animated characters. Trendy items such as Junk Food T-shirts and Madeline Beth crystal rings and necklaces sold at boutiques, including Kitson and Scoop. Since then, Tweety has gone international, hosting a regatta at the exclusive Yacht Club of Monaco and partnering with MAC cosmetics and Sony Ericsson to host a model search in Mexico.
The 50-plus-piece clothing, accessories and home collection will make its debut with a kickoff party July 25 at the Tweety pop-up shop on Wilshire Boulevard across from Neiman Marcus. The store will be open until Sept. 3.
“This pop-up shop represents the first time this many designers will be together in one unique setting,” said Maryellen Zarakas, senior vice president of worldwide marketing and studio licensing. “It allows us to make a major statement in one of the best-known cities for fashion.”
Warner Bros. has chosen to make a fashion push with Tweety because the character is well known and accepted by consumers and designers.
Wang, a first-time collaborator based in New York, said, “Everybody loves Tweety. It’s flirty, naive and has a really positive image. Everyone has their Tweety side.”
He said the endeavor was a bit of a compromise in the beginning, because he didn’t want his design to come off looking costumey. “I’ve never done anything that was bedazzled or loud, so I didn’t want to be so literal,” he said. Wang interpreted one of his spring 2007 silhouettes, a minidress with pleated panels for sleeves, in a yellow hue that was already a big part of his collection.
Ronson’s interpretation was a bit more tongue-in-cheek. She took Tweety’s visage, incorporated it into a rainbow-hued logo that read “Love” and placed it on the backside of boy-style underwear briefs in three colors.
“My line is already really feminine and flirty, so I wanted to do something more fun, and in more of an accessible retail price range,” she said.
Zarakas said that more pop-up shops and upper-tier store partnerships are planned with an expanded group of designers.
“We see this as an extension of fashion that’s gaining momentum around the world,” she said.