Baby Phat will be getting the star treatment.
This story first appeared in the April 1, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Soyon An, costume designer for “American Idol,” has entered into a collaboration with Kellwood Co. as guest celebrity stylist for the Baby Phat brand.
Soyon, a two-time Emmy award-winning costume designer, whose celebrity clientele includes Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey and Avril Lavigne, and who has designed costumes for three nationwide entertainment tours — “American Idol Live,” “So You Think You Can Dance” and the “Carrie Underwood Tour” — will also be featured in Baby Phat’s new social media campaign, which breaks mid-April.
This is Soyon’s first venture in a series of brand collaborations and licensing deals in men’s and women’s apparel, footwear, jewelry, beauty and accessories, all of which will be developed by talent and licensing firm Matchbook Co. Matchbook will work with Eastern Talent Agency, which handles all TV and film projects for Soyon. Both companies also represent Randall Christensen, costume designer of “Dancing with the Stars,” and Janie Bryant, costume designer of “Mad Men.”
“The right style for an individual can be transformational. I watch contestants on ‘American Idol’ and ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ grow more confident throughout the season just by wearing the right clothes and accessories for their own customized look,” said Soyon, who also served as designer of Forever 21’s high-end line, Twelve by Twelve.
Soyon said her next partnership will most likely be shapewear, followed by denim and shoes.
Describing Soyon’s synergy with the Baby Phat brand, Douglas Zarkin, Kellwood’s vice president of marketing, said, “Baby Phat is a brand that celebrates a young woman’s sizzle and sparkle. Who better to evangelize our brand than a fashion force whose style influence on pop culture is seen each week by millions of young women.”
“She creates fashion with edge, and we think there is a definite space in the market for someone with her talent, energy and drive to bring new definition to contemporary clothing and accessory brands,” said Linda Kearns, director of Matchbook, which has represented and negotiated talent-based programs with retailers including Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York, Banana Republic, Perry Ellis and Uniqlo.