Published: Wednesday, July 13, 2005next
New Tune: 'Hair' to Be Clothing Line
By Nola Sarkisian-Miller
"Hair" the rock musical, is inspiring a new clothing line featuring jeans, tunics and dip-dyed shirts.Photo by Donato LOS ANGELES — Sherwin "Ace" Ross, the former president of junior brand One Clothing, is looking to inject some Sixties nostalgia and sensibility into the bohemian fashion craze.
Ross is returning to the apparel business with the launch of Hair, a denim- and T-shirt-driven line inspired by the hippie-infused rock musical of the same name that opened off-Broadway in 1967 before moving to Broadway. The show, which closed in 1972, lives on in regional theater and innumerable amateur productions.
The musical "Hair" delivered an idealistic message of peace and love during a tumultuous period in U.S. history. It is a message that bears repeating in the current climate, Ross said.
He said he has conducted ad hoc interviews with teens in stores such as Costco, and their awareness of the show is almost nonexistent.
"They don't know ‘Hair' itself ... but there's a hippie generation festering as they fear they may be subject to the draft," said Ross, who played the role of Berger during the show's six-month U.S. tour in 1987. "They're wearing shirts with the Hurley logo. Why not wear something that's rooted to a deeper meaning or cause, like ... peace, freedom and love?"
As brand manager, Ross is designing the line in Los Angeles with products for men, juniors and kids. James Rado, who wrote the lyrics and book to the musical in partnership with Gerome Ragni, who died in 1991, and Galt MacDermot, the composer, have final approval of the product, Ross said. Philippines-based Foundasco, which sells children's products in Canada, is the line's licensee.
The 350-piece collection isn't just a billboard for peace signs. There are jeans featuring original patches with doves and Hair's double-headed logo, embroidered and beaded tunics, dip-dyed T-shirts with scoop necks and hand-sponged daisies, silk cargo pants and jackets, shirts featuring tarot cards and canvas-lined silk totes.
Ross does allow for some feel-good slogans such as "Flower Power" and the use of lyrics from "Hair" (approved by EMI Records, which holds the publishing rights), such as "Easy to Be Hard."
Wholesale price points for the line, which ships in September, are about $19 for T-shirts and $40 to $65 for the denim, jackets and totes, and first-year sales are expected to reach $2 million, Ross said.
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