October 19, 2023
King Features has announced a range of Popeye fashion collaborations with some of India’s biggest apparel brands, such as WROGN and The Souled Store, as the sailor man sees continued success in the region.
Popeye, one of the world’s most recognizable pop-culture characters, is owned by King Features Syndicate, a unit of Hearst and home to some of the world’s most popular entertainment characters.
These partnerships were brokered by Black White Orange, King Feature’s licensing agent in India.
Following last year’s highly successful collaboration, breakaway men’s fashion brand, WROGN, and Popeye are teaming up for a second apparel collection featuring the spinach-loving sailor, debuting later this year. WROGN is an Indian youth fashion and apparel brand for men co-created by Virat Kohli, a cricketing and international sporting sensation.
Popeye has also rejoined forces with The Souled Store, an e-commerce merchant best known for bringing world-renowned pop-culture franchises to quality merchandise in India, for a second collection of oversized T-shirts, featuring the character and his friends. Launching later in 2023, drop two’s colorful and playful designs are an energetic follow up to the initial line that debuted last winter.
Upcoming collections include a range of 15 new T-shirt designs from Bioworld Merchandising and an assortment of products featuring Popeye at Reliance Trends, India’s largest retailer, both debuting in the spring. Reliance Retail will also be bringing fans products inspired by the first costumed superhero, The Phantom, next year.
“India is home to one of Popeye’s largest fan bases across the globe, and we’re thrilled to have quality product in the territory that meets that demand thanks to these great partners,” says Carla Silva, vice president, general manager, global head of licensing, King Features. “We could not ask for a better inaugural group to launch their incredible designs and to continue expanding offerings as Popeye’s brand love in the territory grows stronger.”
Along with the continued growth of Popeye in India, King Features is also working to satisfy tremendous demand from fans in the region for content, featuring other classic comics favorites, like Flash Gordon and The Phantom, through the release of new publishing. Indian comic book publisher, Shakti Comics, is reprinting popular comic strips starring Flash Gordon, The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician and Rip Kirby in three languages (English, Hindi and Bengali) while Sunshine Library is releasing reprints of comic strips including The Phantom, Mandrake the Magician, Buz Sawyer, Johnny Hazard, Rip Kirby and Secret Agent Corrigan in Tamil. Regal Publishers continues to reprint issues of The Phantom in Malayalam and English for Indian readers.
“Our publishing partners in India make our brands accessible to fans throughout the region via localized content,” says Christina Nix-Lynch, senior director licensing, King Features. “It’s exciting to see fans reading stories about their favorite comic heroes in their native languages and dialects. Meeting fans where they live only deepens their fandom and creates demand for future titles.”
“We’re proud to facilitate these exciting collaborations that bring Popeye’s timeless charm to Indian fans through renowned partners and brands like WROGN and The Souled Store,” says Mitali Desai, co-founder, chief operating officer, Black White Orange Brands. “We’re also very excited to work with the King Features team to grow publishing in the market. Popeye’s enduring popularity in India is a testament to his universal appeal, and we look forward to further expanding his presence in the region.”
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