Something for the Girls

The economy may be causing consumers to be gloomy, but Robin Zingone is determined to tempt them to "catch a little happy" with product featuring her colorful images and bold graphics. Zingone's illustrations are fun and fresh and have been attracting a wide audience.

In 2009, she is concentrating on three main design properties, which have been a hit with young consumers. Cocomimilulu, targeted to tweens, is focused on "young girls doing career-minded things," she says. Girlygirl has a "retro girl look with bold graphics and features an image of a fashionista doing spa-like things, such as soaking in a bath or shopping around town." Her loveMe property centers on dogs and cats presented in a "Hello Kitty style," she says. "I think they can appeal to both young and older women, much like women wear Hello Kitty."

Licensing agreements with Hallmark, Papyrus, Design Design, Publications International and Great Arrow have allowed Zingone to expand her reach into greeting cards, tabletop, kitchen textiles, scrapbooks, journals, stickers and more.

The artist recently produced a Girlygirl by robin zingone check package for Deluxe Corp. featuring four check designs and a "flower-power" clutch that outsold Disney in its first few months on the market. "People respond to the bright colors, modern patterns and fabulous fashion," says Zingone. Deluxe has since added an additional check package Zingone calls "Cosmopolitan."

Her exclusive, patented gift line of 24 original designs with ThemeNaps, an innovative collection of napkins folded into a patented shape that also can double as table decor when standing upright, had such a strong debut in January that the company is expanding the line into additional categories.

The artist also is working with a French manufacturer on a melamine tabletop and kitchen textile line for the European market and is producing notebooks and binders for Grupo Papelero Scribe, a South American company.

Zingone, who was a designer for Metropolitan Home and an art director for Absolut vodka, took the leap into licensing following an illustration career in advertising with an impressive list of clients including American Express, Target and Sara Lee, as well as editorial accounts for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair.

With an impressive roster of licensing deals under her belt, she is expanding her focus further. "I'm trying to get out there as a lifestyle brand and develop designs that can translate to stationery, accessories and fashion goods. I want to create a whole, coordinated look for my designs," she said. "I'm negotiating with a fabric company on patterns and working with paper goods companies to create an entire look that has a more cohesive feel. Moving into tabletop and fabric will allow me to put my designs on everything for the home."