The ratings are apparently at an all-time low and American Idol is in it’s 11th season so it seems that they are looking at invigorating the brand with new concepts. We saw new judges, but that wasn’t enough. The latest American Idol revamp is that they are debuting a fashion line in partnership with Kohl’s. It is called “Authentic Icon” and is due to be hitting stores in April. The news coincides with the addition of Tommy Hilfiger to the show as “image adviser.” The Idol themed clothes will be on shelves through June, to coincide with the run of the show, and the contestants will wear the looks in upcoming episodes. Hmm…
“It was a natural extension to partner on a line of American Idol-inspired apparel that captures the essence of our rich music, style and performance heritage,” David Luner of FreemantleMedia Enterprises (the show’s production company) said in a release. Added Rick Darling, president of LF USA (which is helping to create the clothes), “The American Idol collection will build upon the powerful influence of music and entertainment on today’s fashion-conscious consumers.”
The American Idol fashion line doesn’t come as a shock to me. To be honest, I’m surprised that they hadn’t thought of the brand expansion idea earlier and have only brought it in now in the 11th season. From a business perspective I suppose it is smart (perhaps young tweens will love it?), but I find it blatantly obvious and a little tacky, particularly how the contestants will be wearing the fashion range in the show. You can just see it… “dress like your fave idol” and then go out and buy the red jacket that Jessica wore last episode. American Idol is already a big brand, and this is just another attempt at expanding even more. I understand the business model, but it has gone too far in turning the musician contestants into commercial products IMHO. I did watch the show in it’s first few seasons, but I’ve totally lost interest the last few years. This for me, is the final nail in the already laid to rest coffin. What do you think though, would you buy American Idol clothes?