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Snoop Dogg sniffs brand opportunity

Rapper to heavily promote new clothing line

Brands are flocking to Hollywood, looking for ways to use entertainment to stand out and get noticed by consumers. But that kind of exposure is easier to land if the brand is owned by a celebrity.

Rapper Snoop Dogg has launched fashion label Rich & Infamous, a clothing line that he intends to promote extensively across the various entertainment properties with which he’s involved.

That includes featuring the development of the new line in episodes of his reality TV series “Snoop Dogg’s Father Hood” on E! and showing off the clothing through product placement in films and musicvideos, with items worn by him and other artists.

The rapper’s CD packaging will include the Rich & Infamous brand message and product unveilings.

The brand will be showcased through fashion shows during Snoop Dogg’s world concert tour.

And Snoop Dogg will promote the line through an original Web series, distribbed across multiple sites and iTunes, that will feature the artist.

Venture was created with brand manager the Robert Thorne Co., licensing giant IMG World and design house Industry Concepts to create the line of streetwear for men 18-35. It will expand into accessories, grooming and home products as well.

Snoop Dogg will unveil the collection this week at the Magic fashion tradeshow in Las Vegas and showcase the line today while performing at the When I Move You Move show, hosted by designer Christian Audigier at Caesars Palace. 

Brand’s creators are currently lining up retail partners to launch the company’s products.

“The Rich & Infamous brand is sculpted from Snoop Dogg’s trend-savvy classic vision,” said Robert Thorne, CEO of the Robert Thorne Co., a Beverly Hills-based brand management firm that built a billion-dollar business out of creating clothing and other licensed merchandise around Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.

For Snoop Dogg, the name represents “a fraternity of sorts — from presidents to gangsters — who’ve been able to endure the burden of gaining wealth at any cost. Garnering equal parts admiration and disdain, these men savor the fruits and relish the spotlight.” Those individuals include James Cagney, Frank Sinatra, Jimi Hendrix, Dean Martin, Muhammad Ali, Albert Einstein, Ronald Reagan and Paul Newman.

Thorne said Snoop Dogg’s decision to tie in the brand with everything in which the artist is involved will give the line marketing muscle that celebrity-licensed merchandise usually doesn’t receive.

“Big stars usually don’t spend a lot of time promoting the brand,” Thorne said. “This is no longer ‘I’m going to make a few extra bucks.’ Now it’s about ‘How am I going to make this about who I am and make this last a decade or two or more?’ “

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