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To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Playboy has teamed up with Special Product Design to create a series of apparel and accessory items that reflect the brand.
This story first appeared in the March 4, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
There’s a Lucien Pellat-Finet cashmere sweater for $3,000, a gold rabbit necklace in collaboration with Hillier, $800, and tights designed by Onyva, $50. There are also mugs, nail art, caps and T-shirts with the legend PLBY and a small rabbit logo.
“Since the company was taken private in 2011, we revamped our licensing portfolio to focus on long-term relationships with high quality and design,” said Matt Nordby, president of global licensing for Playboy Enterprises. Marc Jacobs designed a limited-edition Kate Moss T-shirt in the fall and is creating a few pieces for his fall collection.
Hysteric Glamour men’s and women’s collections are available in Japan and Supreme x Playboy streetwear will be sold in the U.S. The collection includes Vans sneakers, football jerseys and hooded jackets in black-and-white leather with the bunny logo on the sleeves.
“It was important for us to represent the brand as a design-driven lifestyle brand and continue to market its global appeal,” said Nordby. “We’ve had Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí curate our magazine. We often focus our collaborations at the cross section of contemporary art and fashion.”
The products launched in pop-up shops in stores around the world, including Colette in Paris, where a Hello Kitty x Playboy x Collette range bowed last week. There are pop-ups at Isetan in Tokyo; Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing, and ZoZo Villa at zozo.jp. Select items will also be available on playboystore.com.
“Our social media network is promoting the collections,” Nordby said. “We have 19 million followers.”
Playboy’s consumer products are sold in 25,000 stores in 180 countries. The products do $1 billion in sales annually, Nordby said.
“We gave our partners interpretive freedom and flexibility in a way that adheres to certain style parameters,” he said. “We don’t want to take away their aesthetic. Our goal is to inspire new designers interacting with the brand.”
Nordby said Playboy has been investing in doing collaborations with select partners and bringing them to market. “We’re consolidating our portfolio to get fewer, bigger licensees,” Nordby said. “Most people think of Playboy as a media asset, but it’s really a global brand.”