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.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews