We all know sex sells, but will it sell stationery? How about home furnishings?
Those questions and more may soon be answered. The team behind E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey, the racy novel that has spent 14 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list—and, along with its two sequels, currently holds the top three spots on the combined print and e-book fiction list—has just inked a deal with British licensing boutique Caroline Mickler Ltd. to create Fifty Shades-branded merchandise. Mickler, who also licenses products for British romance publisher Mills & Boon, will likely focus on branded “lingerie and sleepwear, apparel, fragrances, beauty products, bedding, home furnishings, stationery, jewelry, and adult products,” according to the Licensing Book blog. (Mickler’s other clients include the Moomin and Apple Corps for the Beatles. Let’s just hope there’s no cross-branding in the works.)
The Hollywood Reporter says that the products will be intended for adult women (not surprising). The burning question in our minds is whether the merchandise will say it loud or be more like a book intended for an e-reader, hidden inside a nondescript cover. Have we gotten to the point where the legions of grown women who made the books so popular will proudly wear Fifty Shades clothing? Or will they prefer something only they know has to do with bondage and books?
Universal Pictures and Focus Features are adapting the trilogy for movie theaters, having bought the rights for more than $5 million back in March.