Croatian design firm Manu's character-based brand Lil 'Ledy is the winner of this year's One to Watch contest for new Licensing Expo exhibitors.
"Lil 'Ledy stood out for its incredible versatility, not only in the many themes Manu has already created for the brand but in the range of consumer products this could easily translate to," says Steven Ekstract, global publisher License! Global magazine, and head of the License! Global judging panel. "We expect to see great things from this brand.”
Lil 'Ledy merges the aesthetics of Japan and Sweden and is targeted to teens and young women. Manu has already released range of collections that showcase the character in a diverse range of settings including Autumn Apples, Let's Celebrate, Rococo and Summer in the City.
Created by veteran designer Antonija Majstorovic with the help of friend and business partner Sonja Stahor, the company first showcased Lil 'Ledy at Brand Licensing Europe last fall.
"We are targeting females of all ages," says Majstorovic. "There are so many brands for girls out there, but we saw a gap for that in between group to spread a positive message. Just being a One to Watch finalist was approval of the brand, but we are out of this world to be named the winner."
Manu was selected from among 40-plus submissions and 6 finalists for the top honor based on its originality, huge licensing potential and on-trend aesthetic. Visit Rinekwall to see for yourself in booth D41.
The other finalists include:
- Bloomers! Edutainment (H30): This children's brand brings the magical world of nature to life with a collection of garden characters and educational materials that engage kids in various gardening activities. The brand started in Southern California schools and has since expanded to include an online world and hands-on kids' gardening products.
- Hye Park and Lune (C42): This casual women's apparel brand has won celebrity fans around the world, and now it's looking to win licensing fans as well with its luxury clothing for the girl on the go. Created by international supermodel Hye Park in collaboration with Lune Couture, the line of everyday apparel focuses on luxury essentials.
- Motor Marc (D177): Artist Marc Lacourciere (a.k.a. "Motor Marc") is internationally known for his works featuring classic automobiles and motorcycles. His past pieces have featured brands such as NASCAR, Harley Davidson, Easyriders, Indian Motorcycles and Fender Guitar, and he is a regular presence at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally each year. Motor Marc is represented for licensing by C3 Entertainment.
- Nitro Circus (A58): This action-sports entertainment brand combines the skill of the X Games with the showmanship of Cirque du Soleil in a spectacle that features live stunts on a range of contraptions including BMX bikes, inline skates, tricycles and even lounge chairs and rocking horses.
- Zoonicorn (E31): This children's brand stars a group of magical creatures that are a mix between a zebra and a unicorn, Zoonicorns, which visit young zoo animals while they sleep, and join them on dreamland adventures to help gain confidence and learn valuable lessons.
“Any one of our finalists could have easily won,” says Ekstract. “All of these brands offer wholly unique licensing opportunities in a range of categories that the judges and I found very exciting. I highly recommend you check them out while you’re here in Vegas.”