Would You Wear ‘50 Shades of Grey’ Lingerie? Inevitable Merchandise Is Coming
It was inevitable: ’50 Shades of Grey’ merchandise is coming in the form of lingerie, home furnishings, perfume, bedding, and more.
Let me ask you a question, Bettys: Would you wear 50 Shades of Grey lingerie? How about perfume? Would you furnish your home with 50 Shades furniture? Sleep on 50 Shades bedding? Write letters on 50 Shades stationary? Even if your answer to all of these queries is a resounding no, you’d better prepare yourselves mentally, because guess what? It’s happening. For real.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, 50 Shades of Grey author Snowqueens Icedragon—sorry, E.L. James—and her agent Val Hoskins have selected the UK-based company Caroline Mickler Ltd. To be the global licensing agent for merchandise based on the book and its two sequels. Although specific products haven’t yet been announced, Mickler is considering, in addition to the products mentioned above, marketing apparel, sleepwear, beauty products, jewelry, and “adult products aimed at adult women” (you do the math on what exactly that means). Mickler will be putting in an appearance at Las Vegas’ Licensing Expo—which is happening right now, actually—and at London’s Brand Licensing Europe 2012 in October to meet with potential licensees.
Although I am mildly horrified by this development, at the same time, I’m also kind of surprised it took this long. 50 Shades of Grey is an incredible cash cow and everyone is trying to milk it for everything it’s worth, so how can it be that no one thought to create crazy tie-in merchandise until now? Maybe it just took a while to get the idea off the ground or something.
But back to being horrified for a moment. Why am I horrified when so many other literary franchises have followed this same path? Well, let’s consider those other franchises for a moment. Twilight, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games… the target audience for these cultural phenomena are what we nebulously term “young adults.” Do “young adults” love having Harry Potter all over their walls and Edward Cullen on their bedspread? Of course they do, because they’re kids. 50 Shades of Grey, on the other hand, is most definitely intended for adults—and I don’t know about you, but no matter how classy the designs could potentially be, the idea of a fully-grown adult willingly sleeping on schlockfic-themed bedding kind of wigs me out.
But maybe that’s just me. Although I am not a fan of 50 Shades myself, I realize there are many who are, and if you want to go to bed wearing 50 Shades jammies, that’s your business, not mine. The book has sold more than 13 million copies in the US alone and Focus Features paid $5 million for the movie rights, so clearly it is alive and well and not going anywhere soon, so I guess I’d better get used to it.
Tell us: Would you buy 50 Shades of Grey merchandise?
Lucia Peters is BettyConfidential’s associate editor.