LOS ANGELES — Actor and television host Mario Lopez is stepping into the apparel business with the launch of RatedM, an underwear line produced in partnership with 2(x)ist co-creator Mike Tawil under his new company Mad Projects Industries LLC.
The line launched on e-commerce site Freshpair.com last week and will enter select Bloomingdale’s stores in February.
Lopez, who flaunted his fit physique playing Olympic diver Greg Louganis on television and as a contestant on “Dancing With the Stars,” is a fashion fan who’s been approached with spokesmodel offers for other underwear lines in the past.
“I’d always wanted to get into the apparel and fitness world, and I thought, ‘Why don’t I just start my own?’” said Lopez from the set of his day job as host of “Extra.”
Meanwhile, Tawil, a former partner at H. Best Ltd., which launched 2(x)ist and produced licensed underwear for Levi’s, Joseph Abboud and DKNY, was searching for a celebrity partner with whom to launch a new line.
“It made sense to launch this with Mario,” said Tawil. “He’s a hard worker who cares about his body and how he looks. When we met him we could see why people love him.”
Tawil had worked with personalities such as NFL star Jason Sehorn for marketing campaigns in the past, but RatedM marks his first time partnering with a celebrity who has a financial stake in the brand. “We are putting a major thrust on growing this into a lifestyle brand much more than previous lines, so it involved rethinking everything from the logo to the sensibility. It necessitated finding the perfect partner,” he said.
The line, ranging from $7.35 to $15.50 at wholesale, consists of three collections — basic foundations called Elementary, dressier pieces called Atelier and athletic underwear called Play — comprising briefs, trunks, tees, tanks, knickers, singlets and long johns. Fabrications include a cotton-polyester-spandex blend, cotton-Modal blend and antibacterial poly mesh for athletic pieces. Colors range from basic black, white and gray to purple, army green and red.
While the product focuses on fit and fabric, with features like a patented “M” fly, the marketing message is fun and irreverent.
“It’s smart, sexy and masculine,” said Lopez. “We like to say it goes from the boardroom to the bedroom and everywhere in between.”
Tawil estimated first-year sales at $5 million to $7 million and said he plans to grow the brand into athleticwear, sportswear and accessories. “It’s a higher middle-range products that has a lot of crossover potential for other tiers of distribution,” he said.
For his part, Lopez is on board. “I’d really like to apply the same philosophy to fitness apparel. Hopefully this is just the beginning,” he said.
“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
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast