What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell us
Screen Wars

Dress like Olivia Pope with help from ‘The Limited’

Amy Scott Sep 15, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY
Screen Wars

Dress like Olivia Pope with help from ‘The Limited’

Amy Scott Sep 15, 2014
HTML EMBED:
COPY

In the ABC drama “Scandal,” Kerry Washington plays the fiercely stylish Olivia Pope, a crisis manager in the nation’s capital. Just in time for the show’s fourth season premiere later this month, The Limited is unveiling a line of clothing inspired by the show.  

While kids shows are no strangers to merchandising, the “Scandal” collection is hardly the first TV licensing deal for grownups. Duck Dynasty-themed products brought in an estimated $400 million last year. And have you seen the Game of Thrones-branded beers?

Sometimes it happens in less obvious ways,” says Marty Brochstein with the Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association. “There is a furniture line connected to ‘The Good Wife,’ for example.”

Yes, you can sit on Alicia’s Guest Chair or Cary’s Office Sofa, from furniture retailer Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.

For the networks, Brochstein says, the goal isn’t just selling products, but getting more butts on those sofas, watching their shows.

“It is reminding you that the show is on and that you love it and wow, isn’t that a great look?” he says.

Fans of the AMC hit “Mad Men” may have had that thought walking by Banana Republic at the mall a while back. A line of clothing inspired by that show sold well for a while, says analyst Wendy Liebmann with WSL Strategic Retail.

“Then it faded pretty quickly,” she says. “For fashion, you know, it’s all fast and furious.”

One the other hand, demand for the products can outlast the shows, says the licensing association’s Marty Brochstein. Thanks to Netflix, people just getting into AMC’s “Breaking Bad” may still want a licensed hazmat suit for Halloween, even though the show ended a year ago.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.