Universal Music Group, home of superstars such as Lady Gaga, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber and U2, have signed a deal with fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger – though not his clothing company – to develop a line of apparel for high-end boutiques and department stores. Universal and Hilfiger intend to work with artists from the UMG family of labels, which includes Interscope/Geffen/A&M, the Island Def Jam group, Universal Motown Republic, Verve and more. So far, no particular artists have been named as being involved in this venture with Hilfiger.
The decision to branch out into artist-branded apparel is part of the company’s strategy to find new revenue streams in a market with declining sales for recorded music. Despite the downturn, merchandise has remained a steady source of income for artists and labels.