Madonna Talking to Macy’s
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
"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.
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?
- Madonna Said in Talks
for Apparel Line – Women’s Wear Daily (sub. Required)
- Madonna may team with
Macy’s for line – American Public Media