We’ve seen many celebrities launch clothing lines to varying degrees of success, but this morning Men’s Week dropped a shocker: Sly Stallone is launching a men’s “lifestyle” line. I had to make sure I wasn’t reading The Onion.
Stallone, whose company is called Sly Inc., told WWD he got into clothes a decade ago when he dropped some weight and started getting his duds custom-made by Italian tailors. He’s jumping head first into menswear by first launching jeans, shirts, outerwear, underwear and watches. Then comes eyewear, grooming products, fragrance, activewear, and athletic shoes. So this isn’t a small endeavor or a niche line of wife beaters–it’s full-on.
It’s going to be a mid-priced range (think Macy’s) and the target customer is a “guy’s guy” in the 25 to 40-year-old demographic, although Sly said he wants it to be appropriate to his generation, too (he’s 64).
The inspiration for the collection will be his two best-known characters, Rocky and Rambo. This made me pause for a second, because if you Google images of Rambo, he’s often shirtless, dirty, and wearing a ratty headband. Which is fine I suppose, but not so appropriate for the boardroom.
But it turns out it won’t be quite so literal a translation. Michael Henry, part-owner of Sly Inc, explains, “Rocky at the end of the day is a love story,” he said, “while Rambo showcases the other side of masculinity, he’s a loner.”
The grooming products make total sense, because that man has an enviable head of hair, and you just know he doesn’t leave the house without a little cologne. (I’ll refrain from discussing his alleged plastic surgery issues.)
Are guys going to want to wear this line? Is Stallone still relevant as a cultural icon? Who knows–it may be time for the hipster, skinny jean aesthetic to give way to a more testosterone driven look.
I leave you with this classic exchange between Rocky and his beloved trainer, Mickey:
Mickey: Why do you have to wear that stinkin’ sweatsuit?
Rocky Balboa: It brings me luck, you know?
Mickey: Brings you luck! I’ll tell you what it brings, it brings flies! Now here’s what I want you to do… I want you to chase this little chicken.
Rocky Balboa: Hey yo, Mick, what do I got to chase a chicken for?
Mickey: First, because I said so. And second, is because chicken-chasing is how we used to train back in the old days. If you can catch this thing, you can catch greased lighting.
Rocky Balboa: Well, I’ll do it if you say so, but it ain’t very mature.
Mickey: Yeah, well neither are you very mature!