Party On

Party planning is starting to emerge as an area of interest within the licensing business, both in terms of properties available and as a category/theme for licensed merchandise.

Celebrity wedding planners have been extending their names into bridal categories for a few years now, but the landscape is changing as they are increasingly positioned not just as wedding planners, but as wedding, party, and event planners. While weddings often remain a central focus of licensing activity, products also can extend into offerings for other types of celebrations.

Examples include Mindy Weiss, who joined Beanstalk’s roster back in 2013; David Tutera, who is currently represented by The Brand Liaison and whose recent deals range from tabletop items to floral arrangements; and Real Housewife Dina Manzo, who partnered with Longevity’s Wedding Planning Institute for a series of 8- to 10-hour party-planning courses offered online.

Meanwhile, the party-planning category is an increasing focus for licensors, particularly celebrities. Sandra Lee licensed Evite for a custom destination focusing on parties and event planning, featuring themes, menus, décor, and the like; products include exclusive custom-designed invitations available through Evite. And Target is featuring a series of party and entertaining collections tied to three noted Pinterest celebrities.

Of course, party goods, from invitations to paper décor to tableware, have long represented a key category for licensing, especially for kids’ properties and artists. The entry of professional party planners and related celebrities adds another level of sophistication to licensed products within the category and brings more adults into the fold.

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