Accessories Grab Fewer but Stronger Licenses

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Scoping opportunities in new retail outlets

For pop bands, 2000 was a peak year in the fashion accessories business. For magazine titles, it was a first shot at brand extension.

Characters like Powerpuff Girls and Pooh were especially strong for mass market accessories maker Accessory Network. AN's new properties for 2002: Mattel's Diva Stars, stationery-rooted brand Lisa Frank, and TV characters Butt Ugly Martians, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Power Rangers.

Britney Spears and her peer group of pop crooners have been good to bags/backpack maker Pyramid Accessories and hair accessories maker Shalom (New York). New musicians in Pyramid's future: Destiny's Child and Dream, and Slipknot (exclusive product for retailer Musicland).

Geared for challenges, Shalom recently acquired a baby and infant care division to help grow the business. Pyramid is expanding into older kids tastes, using the newly acquired Pony license for its latest project, and focusing attention on department and specialty stores. It also has its eye on fashion and creating a bigger presence in handbags and headwear.

Jewelry continues to grow as a brand builder. GeoArt (New York), a marketer of sterling silver artisan-crafted pieces, added five new museum accounts (including the National Gallery of Art) by supplying jewelry in-spired by art and architecture. Next target: resorts.

Hanover Accessories (Plymouth, Minn.) began an exclusive deal with Target for 2 Grrrls (St. Paul, Minn.) brand jewelry and hair accessories.

Teen-serving magazines jumped into accessories zestfully in 2000, such as YM Magazine via partner Skaffles (New York) for hair accessories and jewelry; and Seventeen, with licensee C.O. Int'l (Toronto) for toe rings, anklets, charm bracelets and necklaces. L&N launched Cosmopolitan hair accessories about three years ago.

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