Saks brings fictional fashion to life with ‘Empire’ collection
When we think of retailers that market products that appear in fictional contexts such as movies or television shows, toy companies tend to come to mind. Kids (or adults) see Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker dueling with lightsabers on screen and dash to the toy store to get a reasonably-priced replica.
But as people’s relationship with entertainment media has changed, so has the way product tie-ins work.
One would hardly expect a luxury retailer to create a product based on a popular television show, but that is precisely what Saks Fifth Avenue is doing in its partnership with Fox’s hit drama "Empire."
According to a Hollywood Reporter article, Saks Fifth Avenue is releasing collections of clothing, footwear, jewelry and handbags made by big-name designers that are based on the fashions worn by the characters in "Empire."
The show tells the story of an ailing, mega-rich hip-hop record mogul, Lucious Lyon. His ex-wife, Cookie Lyon (played by Taraji P. Henson), upon being released from jail sets off to stake her claim to half of Lucious’s record label, which she helped launch with drug money before her imprisonment. Cookie Lyon is popular among viewers and known for her unique fashion sense. She has been compared to the character of Alexis Carrington (played by Joan Collins) on "Dynasty."
Source: Saks Fifth Avenue
"The lines between fashion and entertainment are intersecting," said Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue, in the Hollywood Reporter piece. "Harnessing this moment is a key underpinning to our strategy as it brings energy and uniqueness to the shopping experience at Saks."
This is not Saks Fifth Avenue’s first attempt at exploring the intersection between entertainment and real-life luxury fashion. In March of 2015 the company made available real-life glass slippers created by five different designers in conjunction with the release of Disney’s live-action "Cinderella" movie.
At least one other brand has gestured at this type of tie-in. In the ramp up to the release of "Avengers: Age of Ultron" apparent prototypes of the high-tech gizmos used on-screen by the superhero team were presented by Samsung at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The assortment included Bluetooth ear pieces and smartwatches worn in the movie, as well as a see-through Samsung cell-phone used by playboy billionaire Tony Stark, AKA Iron Man. Much to the disappointment of fans with gadget budgets, the products were not made available to consumers.
- You, Too, Can Dress Like Empire’s Cookie Lyon – Hollywood Reporter
- 7 Reasons ‘Empire’ is the new ‘Dynasty’ – New York Post
- Five Designers Recreate Cinderella’s Glass Slipper For Saks – Saks Fifth Avenue
- Tony Stark Will Have A See-Through Samsung Phone In The ‘Avengers’ Sequel – Business Insider
Will the Saks Fifth Avenue “Empire” collection catch on with luxury shoppers and inspire more entertainment/luxury tie-ins from the retailer? What other types of retailers could find success with promotions of this kind?