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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)