IWM Capitalizes on Vintage Trend

Imperial War Museums has added a number of new licensees to its growing line-up of partners that will extend the heritage brand into apparel, personal care, homewares, gifting and posters.

Products have already begun hitting shelves, with roll out continuing through 2013.

“We’re extremely excited to be announcing these new partnerships here at Brand Licensing Europe, as we first met many of these new licensees at last year’s show,” says Barry Smith, assistant director, commercial, IWM. “We’ve been deeply impressed by the fresh and creative ways in which our licensees have translated IWM’s archive material into truly compelling products that appeal to a wide range of consumers.”

Clothing label Realm and Empire has signed on as IWM’s first apparel partner with a   contemporary men’s clothing line that draws inspiration directly from the museum’s collections featuring iconic figures such as Winston Churchill, as well as IWM’s historic museums HMS Belfast and Churchill War Rooms. The line will debut in spring/summer 2013.

In another category expansion, IWM has partnered with SLG to expand into personal care with a range vintage-themed toiletries and grooming sets for men, exclusively at Marks & Spencer. The debut collection is launching this month with the name Rally Round the Flag, capitalizing on the growing trend for retro-inspired products and the rise of demand in the male grooming market. 

Ceramics firm Denby has worked with IWM for a homewares range that includes three distinctive collections–Speak Your Mind, Eat Your Words and Wear a Smile.

Each collection includes mugs, coasters, trays and tablemats that feature photography, wartime slogans and poster artwork from IWM’s archive, combining vintage designs with a modern sense of humor. Denby plans to expand the collection next year to include textiles, tins and memo boards.

In the gifting category, Globee has created First World War and Second World War Globees illustrating key events, figures and conflicts. Product will debut at retail in February 2013 with distribution already secured at major museums around the world.

Finally, J. Salmon is launching a Wartime Posters calendar for 2013 featuring classic IWM artwork, and Pyramid has designed a range of posters and high-end wall art based on IWM’s iconic wartime recruitment posters such as Lord Kitchener’s Britons Wants You and Every Fit Man Wanted.

All money raised through IWM brand licensing supports the ongoing work of the group to ensure that future generations understand the causes and consequences of war.