LOS ANGELES — Brad Beckerman, the founder and creative director of Trunk Ltd. T-shirts, is moving to fill a high-end void in the denim, T-shirt and leather-belt marketplace.
He is rolling out a Private Reserve line of denim jackets, belts and T-shirts that will feature images of rock stars and groups, including John Lennon, Madonna, Alice Cooper and Kiss. The well-known images span some three decades and will be mixed with new ones. Beckerman has the licensing rights to about 40 bands and individuals. The items will retail from $128 to $998 and ship to stores in October.
Beckerman said he would number Private Reserve’s limited-edition merchandise, equating it with collectible art. The company plans to produce a maximum of 500 T-shirts and jackets per look and 250 belts for each style.
“We want the more exclusive customer who is looking for the difficult-to-find quality product,” he said.
The two-year-old company based in Culver City, Calif., is known for rocker vintage T-shirts that retail on average for $75 to $100. It is on track to gross $9 million to $10 million in sales this year, Beckerman said.
The idea for the Private Reserve line was stoked by one of Beckerman’s previous career incarnations as general manager of Starter Corp., the sports licensing company founded by his father, David Beckerman. Nike bought Starter last year for $43 million. The firm pioneered the league-licensed apparel business through agreements with Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.
“If you like an athlete or a team, you can go to a game or even to stores and buy their product,” Beckerman said. “But, what if you like musicians? Where can you find their product, especially those not on tour?”
Scoop co-owner Stefani Greenfield, who met with Beckerman at the Raffles L’Ermitage Hotel in Beverly Hills and got a glimpse of Private Reserve, said Trunk has been a strong seller for her 11 stores in the men’s, women’s and kids’ categories.
“We picked up a whole slew of the denim jackets, which we think are making a comeback and pair nicely with long, easy skirts,” she said. “For Brad, it’s not only about the product, but about building the brand and lifestyle concept, which is what customers want.”
The line has been sold to about 50 accounts, including Barneys Japan, Harvey Nichols in London and Planet Blue in Malibu and Santa Monica, Calif.
With Private Reserve, Beckerman elevates the usually minimalist denim jacket into a more statement-making garment. Crafted from Japanese denim and made in the U.S., the jackets feature the screen prints of images embellished with patches, buttons, rhinestones and paint. Examples include the Madonna jacket featuring rhinestones down the front with a “Virgin Tour” visage on the back flecked with paint splatters and a studded jacket with a sewn-on back applique of Deborah Harry’s Blondie.
The unisex belts meld aged Italian leather with heavy-duty brass and pewter as well as hand-stitched leather buckles adorned with the iconic images of Lennon, The Doors, Yes, Kiss and Jimi Hendrix. A pewter buckle covered in rhinestones spelling out Blondie and a Black Sabbath cross cast in brass with a weathered patina are among the highlights. On the thermal shirts, hand-set Swarovski crystals ratchet up the price points.