SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Bravado continues to make good on its bid to apply principles of fashion design and merchandising to concert merchandise with its purchase of Epic Rights.
The deal, confirmed Tuesday, folds in the West Hollywood music artist agency that works with Madonna, Kiss, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Céline Dion, Barbra Streisand, *NSYNC, CBGB, Britney Spears and other artists.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“This deal expands Bravado’s portfolio and allows us to continue to elevate our industry by working with the iconic artists on Epic Rights’ roster,” Bravado chief executive officer Mat Vlasic told WWD. “It’s our job to help our artists challenge and expand the perception of merchandise and find new ways for them to reach their fans around the world.”
Vlasic, who has been at the helm for a couple of years now, is credited with pushing merchandise around artists’ concerts and tours beyond the basic screen printing on blanks to full on fashion collections and experiential retail.
Kanye West’s 21-city pop-up event launched just head of his Saint Pablo Tour in 2016 is one such example. There’s also Justin Bieber’s moto-inspired collection pushed in conjunction with his Purpose the Stadium Tour that rolled out to pop-ups at boutiques in Copenhagen and Rotterdam in 2017. There was also the Heron Preston-designed merchandise for Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods Tour.
About a year ago, Bravado and Universal Music Group teamed with Bloomingdale’s for a major launch at retail that included exclusives on men’s, women’s and children’s merchandise alongside in-store events to coincide with the Grammy Awards in New York.
“I have great respect for Mat and his teams at Bravado and Universal Music. They have taken product development, marketing and global distribution to an entirely new level,” Epic Rights ceo and founder Dell Furano said in a statement. “I’m very proud of all that we’ve achieved at Epic Rights and look forward to expanding Epic’s roster and artist services in this next chapter.”
Furano previously served as ceo of Live Nation before starting Epic in 2014. He’s an industry veteran starting music merchandising company Winterland Productions with concert promoter Bill Graham. Furano later went on to start and lead as ceo of the merchandising, licensing and consumer products arm of Sony, called Sony Signatures. Live Nation bought that division in 2008.
Epic’s headquarters are expected to remain in West Hollywood.