SITE JOINS COSTUMERS AND CUSTOMERS

Byline: Lisa Lockwood

NEW YORK — Dressing like Buffy, a Freak or a Geek may soon be just a click away.
With the technology in place for interactive television — with which the consumer can click on an outfit she sees on the TV screen and order it immediately (WWD, June 23, 1999) — comes a new twist to dressing like TV stars.
A Web site under development, TVwear.com, hopes to be a service to costume designers and wardrobers of various shows. It plans to link clothing used in TV programs with retailers and manufacturers that can sell the clothing to interested viewers after they’ve seen it broadcast.
While the company is in the initial stages of gathering manufacturers, retailers and costume designers’ interest, Andrew N. Tilles, president of TVwear, based in Los Angeles, says he hopes to offer costume designers and wardrobe supervisors a place to come to borrow merchandise for their shows.
TVwear plans to establish a showroom of merchandise in Los Angeles, provided by manufacturers and retailers, to be used by costume designers and wardrobe supervisors from TV programs. Garments will be loaned to the production at no cost, provided they return the garment after use. The costume personnel will be required to monitor the use of any garment and report it to TVwear so that TVwear can incorporate that information into its Web site and link to the providing manufacturer or retailer. He hopes to launch the site this fall.
“Right now, costume designers buy off the racks,” said Tilles. He said that when a TV program airs three to six months down the road, the merchandise is no longer available at retail. If the wardrober gets the merchandise from TVwear, he said, the consumer can then come to the Web site and be linked to a manufacturers’ Web site to purchase it. TVwear.com won’t do any e-commerce itself.
“The only incentive for them [costume designers] here is it’s free. It will be like a retail store or a costume rental shop,” said Tilles. The service is also free to manufacturers and retailers, except for the necessity to provide garments, and preferably sample garments. Once the garments are returned to TVwear, it plans to wholesale, retail or even auction the garments to generate revenue.
TVwear is a subsidiary of Peter Jones Productions Inc., a TV production company in Los Angeles.
Tilles said he initially plans to scour the Los Angeles market for manufacturers and will gear the selections to shows that go after the younger, hipper customer.
“At this point, it’s a proposition,” Tilles said. “Right now we’re contacting everybody.”

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