New York—Can what has been described as “mommy porn” translate into fashion—from apparel to accessories to stationery?
In a world of “real housewives” and Kardashians, anything is likely. Whether you love or hate them, read or tossed them, the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy is undeniably a cultural phenomenon.
In North America alone, British author E.L. James’ trilogy has sold more than 15 million copies. Universal Pictures and its Focus Features division purchased the film rights to the book.
Hollywood actors are already vying to play the roles of main characters, the recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and her paramour, young billionaire Christian Grey, who introduces her to an S&M world.
Now licensing agents for the books are hoping manufacturers and retailers will also be vying for Fifty Shades of Grey merchandise including apparel, lingerie, hosiery and accessories.
A Bestseller for Holiday?
CopCorp Licensing, an agency specializing in the development of brand, character, art, publishing and entertainment licensing, has been hired for North America and introduced the licensing concept at the recent Licensing Expo in Las Vegas.
“Fifty Shades of Grey has already proven itself as a groundbreaking publishing phenomenon so fans and industry watchers should be pleased–if not necessarily surprised– by the range and variety of products and services encompassed by our licensing program,” said Carole Postal, president of CopCorp.
Licensed merchandise will most likely be aimed at women, who comprise most of the books’ fans, but in some instances, and where appropriate, men’s merchandise, too.
Postal said any merchandise will be stylish, sleek and in keeping with characteristics found in the books. While unable to confirm which categories or licensees have signed up so far, Postal said she hopes to see Fifth Shades fashion merchandise hitting retail shelves by fourth quarter.
“The merchandise that will be in the market the soonest are products with the shortest lead time, in other words products which can be produced faster,” Postal said. “In this case, bedding, home furnishings, bath and body as well as health products will come in later.”