Coke Debuts High-End Fashion Line Inspired by Old Branded Clothing

Partners with vintage-minded designer Dr. Romanelli

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Coke is launching a fashion line dedicated to its iconic brand heritage, partnering with vintage-minded designer Dr. Romanelli—aka DRx.

Per the Atlanta-based soda giant, Romanelli's 200-piece "Coca-Cola by DRx" collection was inspired by Coke clothing he sourced from flea markets and vintage stores from around the world. Items have been stitched together from multiple Coca-Cola-branded garments and entail higher-end bomber and biker jackets and vests, ranging between $450 and $1,650, while T-shirts are available at $35-50.

The streetwear harkens back to the 1960s, '70s, '80s and '90s. The collection, Coke says, also represents an homage by Romanelli to Japanese designers Jun Takahashi, who has done work for Nike, and Junya Watanbex, who has fashioned sneakers for Converse.

The line is debuting in select stores in New York, Paris, London, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Miami, Toronto, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Marketers for the beverages company will push a hashtag, #CokeByDRx, in the coming days to generate Twitter buzz around the clothing.

While the vintage take appears new, Coke has collaborated with many designers in recent years, including D&G, Jack Spade, JCDC, Uniqlo and Marc Jacobs.

Meanwhile, here are a few jaw-dropping data points from Kate Dwyer, head of global licensing at Coca-Cola Company:

  • Coke-branded merchandise generates more than $1 billion in retail sales annually.
  • In 2012, her division grew 16 percent after seeing a 56 jump the previous year. "This year," Dwyer said via email, "we are positioned to grow another 10 percent."
  • 70 percent of her licensing business is driven by international markets.
  • In the last four years, Coke's licensing department has more than doubled both its revenue and profit.
  • More than 500 million Coca-Cola brand products have been purchased annually in recent years.
@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.