America: It’s in your country and it’s feeding your culture -Iconix CEO

June 22, 2010

The aura of the land of Britney Spears, Madonna and everyone’s favorite cartoon beagle — Snoopy — helps move products in growing markets like China, according to Iconix CEO Neil Cole.

Iconix, which bought the Peanuts brand earlier this year owns, licenses and markets all-American brands such as Candie’s, London Fog, Material Girl and Rockawear. And the company is betting that U.S. names will help bring international sales to 30 percent of its overall business within three years, up from 6 percent now.

“America is magic: American music, American movies — America is the feeder of culture,” Cole said at the Reuters Consumer and Retail Summit in New York.  “In China, and throughout the rest of the world, they look at our rock stars and our movie stars– and it sells.” (Ask Barbie if you don’t believe me.)

Cole, who is focusing on China in particular — the company just announced a deal to eventually bring 500 Candie’s free-standing stores across China  — said if you go to nightclubs in large Chinese cities, all you hear is hip-hop.

America’s reputation around the world has largely improved in the past two years, according to a recent poll, but Cole said people’s feelings toward the USA pop culture transcended the geopolitics of the day.

“There’s definitely a better feeling for America as being more friendly, but they’ve always liked our culture, they’ve always liked Mickey Mouse, they’ve always liked Playboy,” Cole said.  “America’s got this coolness about it.” 

(Photo: Reuters)

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