Saks Brings Empire Style to Life With New Collab

Fox's Empire

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Fox’s Empire

Cookie couture? Believe it. This fall, fans of Fox’s Empire can get in on the show’s hyper-stylized, high-watt look thanks to a partnership with Saks Fifth Avenue. Special window displays set to debut on September 10 in both Beverly Hills and New York (just in time for the show’s second season premiere on September 23) will usher in the collaboration, which gives everyone a chance to channel the show’s distinct combination of glamour, hip-hop, R&B and swagger.

“This rollout at Saks positions Empire as a fashion brand,” Jeffrey Godsick, president of Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products told WWD. “As we introduce the next layers we’re doing, such as collaborations and having interesting designers create clothes for the cast, [we’ll have that credibility.] We wanted to introduce Empire as a lifestyle brand from the outset,” Godsick said. “It has aspirational qualities. We believe it can be a stand-alone fashion brand. It could be an Empire label or a label related to a specific character.”

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Fox's Empire

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Fox’s Empire

Empire, which was created by Lee Daniels (Precious, The Butler) and Danny Strong (HBO’s Game Change) drew fans immediately. Not only for the drama that surrounds a diva ex-wife running a record company with her mogul ex-husband, but for the over-the-top styling and uninhibited take on glamour. It’s not uncommon to see Cookie, played by Taraji P. Henson, decked out in head-to-toe animal print topped with a fur stole or printed body-con sheaths topped with a fedora. Her motto? “Make them do a double take.”

The collection at Saks, which will be cull goods from established names meant to reflect each character’s unique style, includes everything from designer labels to contemporary brands. Empire’s look includes fine jewelry from Alexis Bittar, women’s ready-to-wear from Cushnie et Ochs, footwear from Jimmy Choo (for both men and women) and handbags and accessories from MCM. And in September and Ocotober, guys will even have the chance to order bespoke suiting at Empire events in New York, Beverly Hills, Chicago, Boston, Houston, San Francisco, Atlanta and Bal Harbour, where guides will be on-hand to give styling advice to channel the unique style of the show.

In addition to hosting the collection in select stores, Saks will be promoting the partnership in its second-ever magalog, which features actor Trai Byers in a selection of looks from the collection on (he’s also on the men’s cover). “This is big,” Marc Metrick, president of Saks Fifth Avenue said. “The magalog is 272 pages. It’s only the second one we’ve done. The lines between entertainment and fashion are blurring. In very strategic ways, entertainment is like the new editorial.”

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Fox's Empire

Taraji P. Henson as Cookie Lyon in Fox’s Empire

So if fans don’t have the chance to check out the collection in store, they won’t feel left out. Saks plans on heavily promoting the collection on its site, social media feeds and more. One lucky fan will even get the chance to tour the show’s set and get a behind-the-scenes peek at Cookie and Co. — wardrobe included.

“Different characters have different fashion sensibilities, but they’re all fashionable. Luxury to me is a dream,” says Metrick. “It’s something that can’t all be real. It starts with these characters and this world people climb into every week.”

So is this the beginning of an Empire fashion label? If Fox has its way, we’ll be seeing women all over wearing Cookie-inspired animal prints or dapper duds tailored to reflect the mogul style of the show. With all of the attention that the show has garnered — for fashion and drama alike — it only makes sense that world domination outside of TV is only a matter of time.

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Images courtesy Fox

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Author:Christopher Luu for Fashion Trends Daily

Christopher Luu is a Fashion Trends Daily Senior Writer and Menswear Editor.