Cosabella has signed a licensing deal with Starz to create a limited-edition collection of lingerie for fall 2013 inspired by Starz’s TV series, “Magic City.”
The capsule collection will be a nod to Fifties fashion and takes key design elements from the show’s infamous Miami Beach setting during an era of gambling, drugs, money, sex and drop-dead glamour. The show, which is shot on location in Miami, centers on a high-living crowd at the fictional Miramar Playa hotel in 1959 that’s reminiscent of the Rat Pack. The series premiered in early 2012 and quickly developed a cult following. A second season is slated to air this summer.
Guido Campello, vice president of sales, innovation and branding for Miami-based Cosabella, said the 38-piece collection — which will be marketed as The Cosabella inspired by “Magic City” Collection — will leverage the strength of both the Cosabella brand and the “Magic City” franchise.
“How do you tell a really good story at retail right now, when everything is so price-focused? People are looking for more ways to have a strong [marketing] image on the selling floor, and I believe ‘Magic City’ is the sexiest, most provocative show on TV. This is a collaborative effort and is a great way to tell a story,” Campello said.
Cosabella researched and designed lingerie groups for each of the show’s female actors:
• Olga Kurylenko as Vera Evans, a former Havana nightclub dancer and wife of hotel mogul Ike Evans. Vera’s character is represented by a glam group in purple and black modal detailed with delicate appliqué lace.
• Jessica Marais as Lily Diamond, trophy wife of mobster Ben Diamond. Lily’s sensual look is captured with black crochet lace and supple, body-hugging microfiber.
• Elena Satine as Judi Silver, a high-price call girl. Judi’s sex appeal is underscored with lots of peek-a-boo black fishnet.
• Dominik García-Lorido as Mercedes Lazaro, a hotel housekeeper-in-training to be a Pan Am stewardess. Mercedes’ naughty but nice persona is portrayed with soft cotton trimmed with pale pink and black floral lace.
• Kelly Lynch as Meg Bannock, a sophisticated and rich temptress who is the sister of Ike’s late first wife. Meg’s character inspired elegant loungewear pieces in smooth microfiber with lace paneling.
Campello said the Judi Silver group will launch in May at Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Suggested retail prices will be $45 to $244.
“We will show the rest of the collection in February,” said Campello, noting that the line will also be sold at La Rinascente in Italy, Galeries Lafayette in France and Lane Crawford in Hong Kong, as well as cosabella.com.
Shanon Kogler, Cosabella’s social media coordinator, said several social media campaigns are planned.
“We’ll be offering a sweepstakes in conjunction with ‘Magic City’ to win a trip to Miami for the show’s second season in June,” said Kogler.
While items from the licensed line will not be shown in the TV series, Cosabella has designed exclusive pieces for the show’s costume designer, Carol Ramsey.
Meanwhile, writer-director-producer Mitch Glazer, who conceived “Magic City,” said the series would not have its “forbidden” sex appeal without lingerie.
“We really are as authentic as we can be with the series. I kept hearing from the actors that lingerie was driving their performances and making them feel different. So I became aware of the impact of lingerie on the actors,” explained Glazer. “It was great when Cosabella visited because they were inspired by the show and the location….The collection is wildly sexy and evocative of the era. They got the smoldering sensibility of the Cuban vibe….It’s really sexy-looking, almost illicit.
“Cosabella did a really interesting thing by being inspired and tailoring lingerie for the different characters, defining a Lily, a Meg or a Vera. It’s lingerie that came from the heart of each character, and that’s what I try to do writing the show,” added Glazer.
Glazer noted that lingerie is the most important accessory for the Judi Silver character.
“When I first started my research for this show I discovered that working girls would pay the bartender and rent a bar stool for a season. Judi’s lingerie is her calling card,” he said.
Glazer’s formative years growing up in Miami gave him first-hand knowledge of the glitzy “Vegas-by-the-sea” lifestyle.
“In the mid-and late-Sixties my father did all the lighting for the [Miami Beach] hotels and some of my friends grew up in these mid-century hotels….I remember as a kid how incredibly sexy the women were at those hotels [like The Fontainebleau]…in the Boom Boom Room, by the pool wearing sexy waist chains and ankle bracelets,” he remembered. Among the memorabilia he’s kept from the era is a portrait of Frank Sinatra, who was filming the movie “Tony Rome” on location in 1967.
Asked if any of the series characters like Ben Diamond are based on real-life mobsters, Glazer replied Diamond is a “composite” of several profiles such as Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano.
The closest Glazer got to a real crime boss was at a diner in Miami as a teenager with a group of buddies.
“The waitress came over and told us to tone it down….She came over a second time and said, ‘Meyer Lansky is in the booth behind you and you’re bothering him.’”
“We toned it down,” said Glazer.