NEW YORK — Think of it as Beavis and Butthead meet high fashion.
According to sources, MTV has snared top SA designers — including Isaac Mizrahi, Todd Oldham and Marc Jacobs — to design special apparel to sell to the network’s viewers. MTV Networks just may shape up as the most fashion-conscious and eclectic home shopping experience on the dial.
In January, MTV Networks, a Viacom unit, announced it would test home shopping on its three channels: MTV, VH-1 and Nick-at-Nite. The company plans to begin the tests in August, but declined to say when the designer fare would be featured.
Each designer will be assigned to one of the three channels. “It’s going to be unique and suited to the individual audiences and not unrelated to the programming,” said a source.
Reportedly, Mizrahi’s designs will be offered on Nick-at-Nite, which airs classic reruns such as “I Love Lucy” and “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.” His combination of fun and sophistication would seem to dovetail nicely with Nick-at-Nite’s nostalgic, adult audience.
Oldham, known for funky plays of color and pattern, will reportedly sell his designs on MTV, and Jacobs may land on VH-1.
While the designers share a young sensibility, prices for their retail collections are certainly beyond the means of the MTV generation. But they are planning less expensive versions of their lines.
“Obviously our clothes are very expensive and very high fashion,” said Robert Duffy, a partner of Marc Jacobs International. “We did a T-shirt with Swarovski crystals [in the collection] that retails for $600. It’s easy to translate that to a T-shirt with iron-ons.” “We have a sophisticated customer, but as far as attitude, MTV is probably the closest we will get to a mass market,” Duffy said. “They also make it very easy for us to work. We’re a small company. We really watch every nickel and dime. MTV will be doing this like a licensee. We’ll design the product and they’ll do the sourcing and the financing.”