NEW YORK - Marvel Enterprises Inc., a global character-based entertainment licensing company, and AST Sportswear, one of the earliest producers of hip-hop clothing, have entered into a license agreement to co-brand a distinct Marvel branded apparel line of urban streetwear. The new apparel will combine the fresh, street vibe of the hip-hop world with several characters from the Marvel Universe, to produce edgy clothing with a distinct flare. Manufactured by AST Sportswear, the makers of Source Clothing and World Wrestling Entertainment lines, the clothing line will be introduced into finer upstairs and specialty clothing boutiques throughout April. A broad advertising and marketing campaign will be rolled out over the summer in support of the new venture.
"There is an evident connection between the hip-hop community and the Marvel brand," said Larry Zimmer, AST President. "We began to realize the immense connection through our conversations with top creators in the hip-hop industry and many of our consumers who referenced the Marvel mythos time and time again. By combining our popular urban apparel line with the many Marvel characters we will bring these two cultures together through a line of affordable, high-quality clothing."
AST Sportswear's popular urban apparel line was originally created in 1998 to represent the attitude of New York City in a brand of urban sportswear and has been worn by music luminaries like Method Man, Nelly, Noreaga, and Capone. The collection will include denim, fleece, wovens, varsity and full leather jackets and will feature a wide array of Marvel's proprietary character brands including Spider-Man, The Punisher, The X-Men, Dr. Doom, Black Panther, Iron Man and more.
Tim Rothwell, Marvel President Worldwide Consumer Products Group added, "Marvel is quite simply one of the premiere entertainment brands available in the market today. Our characters have a 21st Century edge and hipness to them and nothing speaks louder to these same values than hip-hop. This will also function on a truly symbiotic level where we will work with AST in developing specifically tailored designs for the line and crossovers in our comic books and various forms of music can be expected."