Artist Renée Graef’s brand Lulu is the winner of License Global’s One to Watch contest for new Licensing Expo exhibitors.

April 6, 2018

3 Min Read

Animated character snags One to Watch award at this year’s Licensing Expo.

Artist Renée Graef’s brand Lulu is the winner of License Global’s One to Watch contest for new Licensing Expo exhibitors.

“The Lulu brand really stood out among the entries we received because of its detailed brand concept,” says Steven Ekstract, group publisher, License Global. “Beyond being beautifully executed and visually appealing, Lulu’s adventures around the world will foster a vital sense of curiosity and exploration in children. Retailers and parents today are looking for more than just a cute brand, they want products with a philosophy and a purpose, and Lulu, as well as all of our ‘One to Watch’ finalists, deliver on that demand.”

Graef’s Lulu concept features a friendly fox, who explores the world’s cities with her two sidekicks: Pufferson, a well-informed owl, and Lars, a reluctant penguin. Lulu relishes both the famed highlights and the unexpected comers of each town she visits, with the help of a local guide, and through her travels, brings the world to children’s homes.

“The whole experience at Licensing Expo has been amazing so far,” says Renée Graef, creator of the Lulu brand and winner of the 2017 Licensing Expo One to Watch competition. “I’m just so thrilled to be even one of the finalists, alongside these other great brands.”

The Lulu brand was selected from more than 35 submissions, all of which are brands making their debut into the licensing marketplace this week at Licensing Expo. The winner and four finalists were selected by the editorial board of License Global magazine, the official publication of UBM’s Global Licensing Group, which organizes Licensing Expo, among other global brand licensing events.

Visit Graef for yourself at Booth E80.

The other finalists include:

A Tiny Teddy Named Cuds–Cuds is a teddy bear with a unique beginning. His creator, artist Robert Aragon, suffered a stroke at age 33. When he sat down to draw again after two years of artistic inactivity, he discovered that drawing straight, steady lines was difficult, and as a result, the squiggly cuddly Cuds was born. The character is now a champion of the belief that everyone can overcome difficulty to pursue their dreams.

The F2 (represented by TSBA)–The F2 Freestylers, Billy Wingrove and Jeremy Lynch, are the No. 1 football YouTubers in the world. They blend technical difficulty with stunning synchronization, humor and unrivalled access to some of the true icons of the sport to create engaging and entertaining digital content. They have amassed a huge online following with 3 million Facebook fans, 4 million Instagram followers and 850 million views on YouTube.

Lolli Swim (Marketing Immersion)– Lolli is a fun, flirty and fresh swim brand that has been making a splash in the specialty and department channels. The brand’s diffusion capsule with Target, Sugar Coast by Lolli, was one of the retailer’s best-selling swim lines in early 2017 and kick-started the Lolli licensing program, which looks to extend the brand into other apparel and accessory channels.

Susan Rand–Rand creates bold and textural art using a range of mixed media including fabric, magazine collage and plywood. Her artwork celebrates the feminine in elegant lines and appeals to forward-thinking, educated Millennial women looking for a bold, unconventional approach to art and beauty.

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