New York-based pop artist Marco is not fazed at being compared to the likes of Keith Haring. After over a decade of selling his canvasses in and around Soho, his line of Marcoart clothing is becoming a hit with teens and adults alike. The togs are currently sold in the artist’s four-year-old Soho shop, which Marco says will likely be expanded into a franchise over the next couple of years.
Apparel licensing in Japan is rolling out in Q4 2000, with a similar program in the works for North America. Marco says his clothing and art in general appeals to teens, but it must be marketed differently because it’s not attached to a movie or television series. ‘We’re going to differentiate from entertainment-based properties with special hang-tags, limited-edition runs and placement of limited-edition prints in stores.’
He’s recently designed a new line of baseball caps, urban fishing hats, DJ bags and over-the-shoulder messenger bags, which will be available in New York at select specialty shops and in the Marcoart store in time for Christmas. The store also stocks Marco-made mouse pads and aprons. As well, naughty boxer shorts featuring cute contraceptive doodles are in the design phase, following a line of ties featuring ‘Safe Sex’ and ‘Sushi Baby’ designs that debuted at last summer’s Magic International apparel show. The ties are available in the Soho shop.
In terms of accessories in the U.S., Marco was chosen as one of three 1998 Swatch artists with his ‘Alien Baby’ design, and is currently negotiating a second deal with several watch manufacturers for when the Swatch term ends in August 2000.
In the near future, Marco also hopes to set up a Web site where shoppers can customize and order products like posters and T-shirts featuring his designs.
The deal spiel
* For distribution of prints: New York-based MMI Museum Masters International in the U.S., and M.M. Merchandising Munchen in Germany
* For Y2K calendars and Marco’s New York, a guide to the Big Apple’s nightlife and culture scene: German pubco te Neues
* For towels and bedding in German-speaking European countries: Switzerland-based Kremer
* Marco will do a line of puzzles, puzzle cubes, mugs, children’s placemats and an adult and child’s T-shirt for UNICEF’s spring 2000 catalog.
* For infant and children’s clothing (fall or winter 2000), postcards and posters in Japan: Tokyo-based Newtee