Licensed apparel (or clothing) has gained prominence in the merchandising puzzle as of late thanks to its simplicity, low cost/high margins and its customizability. Long gone are the days when clothing bearing your favourite cartoon character was only availably in a few, all-round safe choices. Today, thanks to on-demand production and the internet as a sales channel, it’s possible to create clothing with just about anything on it and in just about any batch size. So here’s the deal, given a choice, would consumers rather wear clothes that feature a character or rather replicas of the clothes the character wears?
While in Ireland this past July, we (future missus and I) made numerous trips to that mecca of price conscious, fashion-loving regular folk that is Penneys. Quite different from the American JC Penney, Penneys is the brand for retail giant Primark in Ireland and their strategy is to sell high-quality, stylish clothing at the lowest possible price.
Let’s put it this way, even in the US, I’ve struggled to find a pair of jeans for under $10 whereas Penneys sells them every day.
Besides the low, low prices Penneys also sells plenty of licensed items, including a healthy supply of animation-related clothing that was clearly selling. It was quite a surprise to see that cartoon characters on clothing is considered much more mainstream than it is here in the States; where you either accept the wall of ‘hip’ shirts that Wal-Mart/Target has to offer or you have to duck into the local Hot Topic to what they’ve got to offer.
Anyhoo, without further adieu, here’s 7 articles of clothing that I found in Penneys that any fashionable fan of animation should not be without:
1. Japanese Mickey Mouse
2. Yosemite Sam (woefully under-represented in clothing IMO)
3. Fred Flinstone
4. Spongebob Squarepants (perfect for casual Friday)
5. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (mandatory for those in the 22-28 age bracket)
6. Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop pyjamas (Betty was on many, many more items besides these PJs)
7. Lola Bunny (no sign of Bugs though)