Since their much-publicized 2004 wedding, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony have been one of popular music’s most prominent power couples, often working together in myriad projects. Now, the two artists will apply their combined star power to the launch of his-and-hers contemporary “lifestyle brands” for Kohl’s Department Stores.
The Lopez and Anthony brands will initially launch women’s and men’s apparel and accessories and may expand into other products. MESH, a division of LF USA and a partnership between LF USA and Star Branding, will sub-license the two brands exclusively to Kohl’s. Tommy Hilfiger and other partners own Star Branding.
The products will be available in Kohl’s stores nationwide and online beginning in fall 2011.
The move marks the first time in recent memory that a celebrity couple will be designing for one brand. It also illustrates how married celebrities with disparate fan bases can work together to boost each other’s standing.
In the Latin music world, no one has done this as emphatically as Lopez and Anthony. The couple, who recorded together even before their marriage, have also toured together and collaborated on the 2006 film El Cantante, the biopic of singer Hector Lavoe starring Anthony and Lopez, and with Lopez also serving as co-producer.
The Kohl’s deal is completely different, but once again, banks on Lopez’s and Anthony’s appeal as individual stars, but also as a couple.
“We looked at Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and looked at the awareness that’s out there for both of them, and it’s at a very high level,” says Don Brennan, Kohl’s senior evp. “They’re both incredibly influential in the entertainment industry, they’re really style icons and that’s what really builds credibility. We think that both appeal to a really broad group of customers.
The Lopez and Anthony lines were always thought of as separate and distinct. But the fact that Lopez and Anthony are a couple “is one of the most exciting parts of the partnership,” Brennan says. “We think that will create a lot of buzz and excitement.”
Brennan would not give details, but said the marketing of both lines for the fall would be “very comprehensive.”
Kohl’s has already targeted Hispanic consumers with clothing, accessories, fragrance and a bedding line by TV host Daisy Fuentes. But as a film star and an incoming judge on American Idol, Lopez brings a far broader appeal that covers both Latin and mainstream buyers. Lopez also has a history with clothing and lifestyle branding, beginning with the launch of her JLO by Jennifer Lopez line in 2001. Lopez’s last clothing venture was urban street-wear line Sweetface, which she discontinued in 2009. On his end, Anthony has never had his name on a clothing or lifestyle brand before.
Other Latin power celebrity couples of course include Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who work as a tight-knit team, with Emilio managing his wife’s career.
But with few exceptions, Latin celebrities have seldom been the face of mass-distributed clothing or accessory brands. Those currently in place include reggaetón star Daddy Yankee, who has a men’s and women’s fragrance line, and pop star and actress Thalia, who is the face of a series of products, including beauty line Carol’s Daughter and a Kenmark eyewear line. Thalia, of course, is herself part of a power couple; she is married to music executive Tommy Mottola.