On Wednesday, Kohl’s Corp., in a joint statement with FremantleMedia Enterprises, LF USA and Bravado, said that it will be launching an “American Idol”-themed apparel collection under the Authentic Icon moniker in junior and young men’s departments next month.
The move brings another facet to the growing melding of fashion and entertainment with commerce, which gained momentum last week with NBC’s “Fashion Star,” a new reality television fashion competition in the vein of “Project Runway.” Unlike that long-running show, though, “Fashion Star” sets itself apart with contestants who are being judged on their clothes’ commercial viability, with Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and H&M bidding on designs and offering them within minutes of the ending of each episode. RELATED STORY: The Reality of ‘Fashion Star’ >>
Now Kohl’s is hoping to cash in on the popularity of “American Idol,” which has created such stars as Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson and Jennifer Hudson (though she didn’t actually win). On average, “American Idol” gets 16 million to 20 million viewers an episode.
“This launch brings together a national retailer and award-winning television show to create a new collection for customers,” Kohl’s chairman, president and chief executive officer Kevin Mansell said, adding that the “partnership makes Kohl’s an immediate consumer destination this spring.”
Kohl’s inked a multiyear agreement to distribute the line.
FreemantleMedia Enterprises executive vice president of consumer products and Interactive David Luner said it “was a natural extension to partner on a line of ‘American Idol’-inspired apparel that captures the essence of our rich music, style and performance heritage.”
The collection is being designed and produced by LF USA’s MESH (Music, Entertainment and Sports Holdings) division, which was co-founded by Tommy Hilfiger, Andy Hilfiger, Bernt Ullman and Joe Lamastra. MESH appears to like keeping things in the “American Idol” family — it is also behind apparel collections associated with Jennifer Lopez and Steven Tyler, both of whom are judges on the show. Lopez’s line is also exclusive to Kohl’s, while the Andrew Charles collection, which is inspired by the Aerosmith front man, is sold at Macy’s.
The “American Idol” pieces have a distinct Americana feel with a denim, rock ’n’ roll edge, including such looks as a striped skinny jeans with a touch of punk teamed with an off-the-shoulder T-shirt fit for a groupie, graphic T-shirts with Op Art-like HotPants, and, for men, casual blazer and jeans combinations.
The line, which launches exclusively at Kohl’s stores nationwide and on kohls.com on April 20, will be available through June, which is shortly after the May 23 finale of the show’s 11th season. Kohl’s didn’t disclose price points for the collection. According to Kohl’s’ senior vice president of public and community relations Vicki Shamion, products from the Authentic Icon collection will be featured in upcoming episodes of “American Idol.”
“With the AI line, we are extending the spirit of the American Idol brand into our fans’ lives in an organic way,” said Chris Garnett, chief marketing officer of CKX and its 19 Entertainment division, which jointly produces “American Idol” with FremantleMedia Enterprises.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia