Madonna Talking to Macy’s

Discussion
Feb 22, 2010
Tom Ryan

By Tom Ryan

Madonna is said to be talking to Macy’s about
doing an exclusive line. According to a report from Women’s Wear Daily,
the contemporary women’s collection includes
apparel, accessories, intimates and footwear. Labels being considered include
Material Girl apparel and Truth or Dare for lingerie and underwear.

Iconix Brand Group is said to be involved
in the negotiations and Madonna has made visits to the company’s New York
offices, according to the report. Iconix owns and licenses several brands
and has arranged exclusive deals for Candie’s and Mudd at Kohl’s, Ocean
Pacific and Starter at Wal-Mart, and Mossimo at Target. Its biggest celebrity
connection comes with its Candie’s brands, where it recently signed singer
Britney Spears to represent the brand.

The WWD article pointed to a string
of new celebrity deals in the fashion world. These include Sarah Jessica
Parker investing and being named Halston’s chief creative officer and president;
Lindsay Lohan becoming an artistic adviser at Ungaro; and Victoria Beckham,
Beyoncé Knowles, Jay-Z, Gwen Stefani and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen all
touting prominent fashion collections.

Speaking to American Public Media,
Marshall Cohen, NPD’s senior analyst, estimated that the misses in celebrity
lines outnumber hits by a two-to-one margin. Jessica Simpson had a successful
footwear collection but has struggled with sportswear. Jennifer Lopez pulled
the plug on her Sweetface last year amid the recession.
Other fashion failures included efforts from Eve, Paris and Nicky Hilton
and Whitney Port.

However, some say Madonna is bigger than all these
names with perhaps a link to fashion akin to Martha Stewart and home furnishings.
She has appeared in ads for Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Versace
and Gap, walked topless down the runway for Jean-Paul Gaultier in 1992,
and attends fashion shows. In Spring 2007, a
co-branded women’s collection with H&M under the M by Madonna label
drew heaps of press.

"Madonna has an impressive feel for
fashion and trends. She was extraordinarily style conscious, passionate
and was involved in even the smallest details of every design," said Margareta
van den Bosch, head of H&M design at that time.

Mr. Cohen said celebrities also risk ruining
their reputation if a collection fails. Sarah Jessica Parker and Venus
Williams’ name were enmeshed in Steve & Barry’s collapse.

But he also said the push is on for exclusive
labels.

"One of the big issues that retailers have
been wrestling with is how do they separate themselves from one another.
And by getting in partnership with a celebrity or a designer and having
exclusive product, it’s one of the best ways to differentiate yourself,"
said Mr. Cohen.

Discussion Questions:
What do you
see as a successful formula for making celebrity licenses work? What
do you think about the potential for a Madonna fashion line?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

16 Comments on "Madonna Talking to Macy’s"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
11 years 2 months ago

Oh, the wild joys of being a weird celebrity designer. ‘Tis true that life is short and rarely private. So we appreciate fashions that are even shorter and more exposing. My take on any future Madonna Wraps, scant and senseless as they might be, is that they would be just another pimple on the ever-evolving face of worldly fashion.

Carol Spieckerman
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

To me, the bigger story isn’t that yet another celebrity is riding fame to the beach through fashion. I’m looking at the deals that Iconix is making (Madonna) and not making (Playboy falling through) as a barometer for the retailer-as-licensee movement that Iconix increasingly owns in soft lines. Playboy, with its retail stores, convoluted licensing agreements and Hef hanging on with his long teeth, is Byzantine by comparison (though in the past, all of that would have been called an “opportunity”).

To me, this signals that celebrity licensing is still one of the more straightforward and bankable arrangements, particularly for a global icon such as Madonna and a low overhead pure marketing company like Iconix.

Dick Seesel
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Madonna had vast influence on fashion and popular culture in the ’80s…but the question is how her iconic status would translate into a design point of view. The brand position should be “contemporary” but the age demographic is frankly not going to be as young as Macy’s might prefer. It’s certainly an idea worth exploring; many of Macy’s marketing initiatives and exclusive brands are celebrity-focused, and a “Madonna Collection” would fit right in.

Doron Levy
Guest
Doron Levy
11 years 2 months ago

I’m reserving judgment until I see the line. Madonna dresses pretty weird on stage and I’m wondering if your average Macy’s customer can appreciate Madonna’s style. I’m assuming the pointy brassiere will not make it into the collection.

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
11 years 2 months ago

Whenever the business is soft, it turns into a market share, zero sum game. A sure sign of this is a spate of exclusive celebrity lines. Would a Madonna line mean anything? Who knows? In the end it depends, as always, on the product. This means the designers selected, the piece goods, the needle, and the value proposition. Beyond that, it is simply marketing and another royalty check for the Material Girl.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Madonna is a good businesswoman. I’m betting she’ll do well by this deal. As to Macy’s? I’m frankly a lot less bullish. A brand blindly seeking a demographic is a brand in trouble.

Cathy Hotka
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Ewww. Does ANYONE want to look like Madonna?

Stacey Silliman
Guest
Stacey Silliman
11 years 2 months ago

Her line at H&M was hugely successful and that apparel was much more conservative than anything Gwen Stefani’s LAMB Line or Beyonce’s line offers.

Madonna is still relevant–whether you love her or hate her. She is still photographed in fashion magazines around the globe. Her impact is huge. And again, whether you’re a fan or not, she is a stellar business woman. This is not someone who parades around in her underwear while not on stage and I doubt that she’ll be offering stage outfits to the masses. Her line will probably be in line with what was offered at H&M in 2007 and heck, I wore those shirts and blazers to work!

If Gwen Stefani was successful (and she’s a Madonna follower) than no doubt Madonna will be successful. Pun intended!

Li McClelland
Guest
Li McClelland
11 years 2 months ago

How many 50 year old Material Girls shop at Macy’s anymore? How many younger women aspire to dress like a 50 year old Material Girl? Lots of people of all ages enjoy her fabulous music and performing talents but Madonna the fashion icon is sooo 1980s. If she were still living life as a British country noblewoman perhaps she could work some of that style into an unexpectedly serious fashion line–but that part of her life is also over, so 2000s and so Mrs. Guy Ritchie. But score one more “scoop” and another free media mention for Macy’s indefatigable PR department.

Lee Peterson
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Someone needs to get to her and tell her not to do it! Whoever that person is, they need to be strong enough to show her the receding customer base for department stores, the dying revenues, the qualitative research that shows D-stores are a dinosaur about to be extinct. That person needs to be able to clearly over-rule and crush Madonna’s entourage with clarity and good marketing sense. That person must change her mind about this quickly before it’s too late.

I volunteer me for the duty!

Gene Detroyer
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Madonna is a celebrity and an entertainer. But, most of all she is an entrepreneur. She is perhaps the most successful business person to come out of the performance industry. Great care should be taken in predicting the failure of this proposed business.

But, failure may be on the label. “Material Girl” and “Truth or Dare” are names of an era past. There is no longer a great connection to those who are part of that generation. Do they really want to be a “Material Girl”?

But, the other side of the argument is that Madonna is an icon for 40+ or 50+ year old women. She continues to connect. That connection is considerably more mature (and more elegant) than it was 20 years ago.

Madonna, now hear this!!! Forget “Material Girl.” Forget “Truth or Dare.” Put your own name on the line and you will communicate all that is necessary to your targets and this venture will be hugely successful.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Reading the list of celeb designers–can any list featuring BOTH the Olsen twins and Lindsay Lohan be anything positive? I think Madonna has too much class and dignity for this to work…wait, did I just write that??? Anyway, I’ve never understood the appeal of wanting to look like someone else, so I’ll pass on what prospects this has, but I’m surprised we haven’t yet seen a comment along the lines of “there goes Macy’s again, latching onto yesterday’s news.”

Doug Stephens
Guest
Doug Stephens
11 years 2 months ago

I wish I could be positive about Macy’s initiative on this but frankly the alliance could be subtitled “When dying brands collide.”

I’d be fascinated to see any research that was done. It would be interesting to see the brand attributes that Madonna represents for women of all ages but most particularly for women in the 18-34 age range.

That said, I have to agree with those panelists who view this as an union better executed in the 1980’s.

Anne Bieler
Guest
Anne Bieler
11 years 2 months ago

Well, if this is a business decision, what were they thinking? Fun to discuss, but hard to see who the target shopper might be. Unless she has another totally unexpected surprise for an unsuspecting public!

Phil Rubin
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Madonna is smart, knows style, and fashion, and sex. A bankable combination if there ever was one. This is one of the best opportunities that Macy’s has had in a long time and one that it would be foolish to bet against.

Justin Time
Guest
11 years 2 months ago

Madonna is past 50 years old. So what age group will she be designing for?

She does have her glorious past, but can it translate to today’s ultra fickle Twitter environment?

This is a gamble that may or may not pay out for Macy’s.

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

What do you think of the potential for an exclusive line from Madonna sold through Macy’s?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...