By Tim Kenneally
The next time Bart Simpson says “Eat my shorts,” he’ll be talking about a considerably fancier set of duds.
The cartoon iconoclast will make his Fashion Week debut on Wednesday, as the yellow-hued muse of fashion designer Jeremy Scott‘s new line.
That’s right, Bart Simpson — who’s worn the same red T-shirt and blue shorts for the past 23 years — is hitting the runway.
“I just absolutely fell in love with Bart; I just thought, you know, he would be so great to have as a sweater,” Scott — who has given the high-fashion treatment to the Flintstones and Mickey and Minnie Mouse — says of his decision to create the collection, which will comprise “six or eight” pieces.
Plus, Scott notes, it gives Springfield’s most notorious rabble-rouser a chance to hang out with a different crowd.
“It’s sexy supermodels and it’s Bart; I don’t think he’s had that run yet,” the designer says.
The Simpsons-inspired line — which will make its premiere during Scott’s Fashion Week show at Milk Studios in New York on Feb. 15 — won’t be for everyone, and would most likely be out of Homer and Marge’s price range. (“It’s definitely for a higher-end clientele,” Scott admits.) But Scott’s creations are part of a larger plan to evolve “The Simpsons” into a lifestyle brand, now that the show’s audience has solidly grown beyond the younger crowd and into the moneyed demographics.
“‘The Simpsons’ has been evolving as a lifestyle brand as the audience has grown to include everyone,” Jeffrey Godsick, president of Fox Consumer Products, told TheWrap. Godsick points to the line of Simpsons skateboards (and upcoming snowboard line) made by the Santa Cruz company as an earlier example of the expansion. While he was reluctant to divulge further plans for the lifestyle branding of the series, he did tell TheWrap that Fox has spoken to “a couple of European designers” and other creative types about possible products.
As for whether earlier fans of the series will be put off by “The Simpsons” being put out of their price range by products such as Scott’s line, Godsick remains confident that audiences won’t be alienated.
“You can buy ‘Simpsons’ apparel at so many price points all around the world that there’s an opportunity for everyone to buy it at any level,” Godsick notes.
But what about Bart Simpson himself say? What would the famously irreverent rascal say about his inclusion in the hoity-toity world of high fashion?
“He would say, ‘Don’t have a cow, man,’” Scott offered.