WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — If music stars can wear their hearts on their sleeves, why not the rest of us?
Hanna Schmieder, president of Lyric Culture, a new jeans and sportswear line with the lyrics of classic rock songs screen-printed on the fabric, aims to answer that question. The collection is set to make its debut in the spring.
"Music is a universal language, and lyrics are a lifestyle," said Schmieder, whose album, "Wound & Hypnotized," is also due out in the spring.
Schmieder has been writing song lyrics on her jeans for years. She never considered going into the fashion business until her producer, Jack Douglas, saw her wearing a pair of jeans she had emblazoned with the words to Don Henley's "Dirty Laundry." He spoke about the concept with fashionable rocker friends such as Aerosmith's Steven Tyler, who encouraged Schmieder to start the line.
To secure the rights to songs by The Beatles, America and David Bowie, among others whose lyrics she admires, Schmieder acted as an artist first and a businesswoman second. "I approached the record labels as a musician wanting to do something special on a premium level, not another merchandiser looking to make a buck off a concert T-shirt," she said.
The result is a line of embellished jeans, T-shirts, denim and leather jackets, shorts, skirts and belts that will retail between $80 and $800. Jewelry and bags, designed by an in-house team of 10, are also in the works. Schmieder plans to launch the line in specialty retailers such as Fred Segal, Scoop and H Lorenzo, as well as Saks Fifth Avenue, and then branch out into other major department stores.
"Due to our significant licenses and truly innovative product, we've been receiving an incredible amount of interest in our line. We project moving between 40 and 50,000 units in our first year, with significant growth in our second and third years," said Ronny J. Halperin, chief executive officer.
The product landed in the spotlight when Brooke Burke wore a leather skirt and bustier decorated with The Beatles' "Let It Be" on an August episode of CBS TV's "Rock Star Supernova," and Kelly Clarkson sported an "American Pie" T-shirt to sing the national anthem at the opening of the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race at the California Speedway in Fontana in September.
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