Music and fashion have officially tied the knot.

This story first appeared in the May 25, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Bravado, a global music merchandising company and division of Universal Music Group, and Music Entertainment Sports Holdings, a division of LF USA, have launched a venture to create contemporary lifestyle brands inspired by music and fashion. This confirms a WWD report on Jan. 10 that a deal was in the works.

The venture will develop, market and distribute diversified collections from musical artists ranging from Lady Gaga, whose latest album “Born This Way” was released Monday to much hype; Justin Bieber; Katy Perry and the Rolling Stones to The Doors, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns N’ Roses and The Who, all of whom are represented by Bravado. The announcement was made by Lucian Grainge, chairman and chief executive officer of UMG; Tom Bennett, ceo of Bravado, and MESH partners Tommy Hilfiger, Joe Lamastra, Andy Hilfiger and Bernt Ullmann.

As part of the agreement, Bravado will partner with MESH on the design, marketing and distribution of exclusive collections and better merchandise, which are expected to launch later this year at specialty and department stores worldwide. The deal seeks to combine LF USA’s global sourcing network and distribution resources, MESH’s expertise in creative design and Bravado’s licensing expertise and world-class roster of artists.

According to sources, the merchandise is expected to range from capsule collections and licensing deals to collaborations and exclusives. WWD has learned that a number of stars will be launched exclusively at Macy’s.

“Bravado’s clients are among the most iconic musical artists in pop culture,” said Grainge. “Bringing them together with MESH’s creative ability and global distribution resources will be transformative for Bravado in terms of its scale, the unique opportunities it provides our artists and the diversification it brings to our portfolio of global brands. This is a new approach that takes the current notion of artist merchandise and propels it into those places which have, until now, been reserved for major designers and major brands.”

“I am incredibly excited to be a part of this historic fusion of fashion, music and retail,” added Tommy Hilfiger, part owner of Star Branding, which is a partner in MESH. “Between the unrivaled roster of artists under the Universal-Bravado umbrella and the unparalleled ability to produce quality product that LF USA brings to our partnership with MESH, finally, the marriage between music and fashion is official.”

Last July, LF USA, a division of Li & Fung Ltd., along with the Hilfiger partners, formed MESH with Star Branding to create lifestyle concepts inspired by the worlds of music, entertainment and sports. The first deal signed by MESH was the new Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony lifestyle fashion venture with Kohl’s, which will launch at retail this fall.

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