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FASHION LICENSING

Saban Gives Paul Frank Fashion Revamp

By Marcy Magiera

Saban Brands Lifestyle Group is repositioning its Paul Frank Kids label as fashion rather than an entertainment character brand and taking in-house control of design, marketing and manufacturing. “Retailers get the cost savings by buying direct because we are doing our own sourcing and designing from our creative base in Sydney, Australia,” Daniel Castle, managing director of SBLG told WWD.

While the Paul Frank monkey known as Julius will take a lower profile in the brand worldwide as a result of the new strategy, there will be variance by market. The character is considered a premium property in China, for instance, where Saban earlier this summer signed the largest licensing deal in its history with Grand Union International Trading Co. Ltd. to be Paul Frank’s long-term master licensee and retailer. Under the repositioning, retailers overseas may continue to buy some products from SBLG and some from licensees, particularly in China.

WWD predicts that how the transformation is done could have implications for other successful but aging entertainment characters in need of brand revitalization.

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