This week, Kmart Corp. (Troy, Mich.) will unveil a new line of apparel, accessories and home products designed by Mexican singer Thalia Sodi.
The brand, owned by Sodi, began trickling into Kmart stores last week. Highlights include lean jersey T-shirts, some emblazoned with glittery T logos and others patterned with doves, Aztec symbols and other imagery from the singer's homeland.
"It's the first time a Latin beat has been instilled in a fashion product," said Peter Arnell, the advertising executive responsible for Kmart's marketing strategy.
The effort represents Kmart's efforts to cash in on the growing Hispanic consumer market in the U.S. Earlier this summer, Sears, Roebuck and Co. (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) introduced a women's clothing line by Lucy Pereda, who has been dubbed the "Hispanic Martha Stewart." Other retailers have tried to tap in via singer and actress Jennifer Lopez, whose label, introduced two years ago, has fallen short of expectations.
"We were looking for a voice to the Hispanic community, with apparel that is unique to that community," said Kmart vp Joe Wagner.
Sodi is the wife of music mogul Thomas Mottola, who conceived of the merchandise line with former Kmart ceo James Adamson.