March is Women’s History Month. It started as “Women’s History Week” when Congress passed Public Law 97-28 in 1981. Congress passed joint resolutions for the next five years to continue celebrating “Women’s History Week.”
After the National Women’s History Project petitioned it, in 1987 Congress passed Public Law 100-9 which designated March as “Women’s History Month.” According to the Library of Congress, “These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields.”
Women’s Contribution to Licensing Industry
When it comes to licensing, there are many empowering female brands to look up to. One of these has been inspiring women, men, boys, and girls for over 80 years.
Wonder Woman, the superhero icon, was introduced in All Star Comics #8 in 1941 and received her first feature in Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942. The Wonder Woman comic has been published by DC Comics almost continuously since.
She’s appeared in TV shows (live-action and animated), movies, books, music, video games, fine art (e.g. Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein have created pieces using her image), has been an honorary United Nations ambassador, and more.
Today, Wonder Woman remains a licensing powerhouse. For her 80th anniversary in 2021, she had a fashion collection and runway show designed by Indian fashion designer Nivedita Saboo. This year, a new Wonder Woman roller coaster is coming to Six Flags Magic Mountain.
Warner Bros. Consumer Products recently announced more new products and experiences including a Wonder Woman inspired activewear collection from Active Truth, and vintage apparel lines from Unique Vintage.
Marking the 80th anniversary of Wonder Woman, DC, Warner Bros. Global Brands and Experiences and WarnerMedia have partnered with Visit Burbank and the City of Burbank to unveil a statue of the Super Hero in Burbank in 2022.
She’s inspiring the licensing industry to date. Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment (WiT), a diverse global community working together to champion and advocate for the advancement of women spotlights the broad range of tremendously talented women in their Wonder Women award winners every year.
Kathy Ireland, the CEO and Chief Designer of Kathy Ireland Worldwide (kiWW®) is the highest-ranking woman-owned licensing business personality in American history. In 2021, Kathy was elected to the Licensing International Hall of Fame and was the youngest person to enter this exclusive circle of transformational leaders.
Kathy’s solely owned company, which began at the family kitchen table with Worldwide Creative Director, Jon Carrasco in 1998 aims to inspire & empower fashion for women, men & children, intimate apparel, accessories, fine jewelry, weddings & resorts, skincare, cosmetics, furniture, lighting, flooring, decor, cookware, appliances for homes & offices all over the world.
Another legendary female icon, Betty Boop, made her first cartoon appearance in Fleischer Studio’s Dizzy Dishes in August 1930. She sang in that first appearance but had no lines. She didn’t even have a name, but that didn’t stop Betty from stealing the show.
It was in September 1931 that she was finally given her full name – Betty Boop.
Betty Boop maintains a robust licensing program through her licensing agent, Global Icons. In 2022, fans can get booped with a new Dolls Kill X Betty Boop apparel collection.
Fictional characters aren’t the only ones empowering licensing programs.
Key historical figures like artist Frida Kahlo and pioneering journalist Ida B. Wells have released new products in 2022.
Barcelona’s Art Ask Agency represents the image of Mexican artist and historical icon Frida Kahlo in Europe.
Vault by Vans recently did a Frida Kahlo footwear collection. Moleskine created limited edition Frida Kahlo notebooks. It was recently announced that the immersive experience “Frida Kahlo – The Life of an Icon” will open in new locations in Europe this month and tour the United States later this summer.
Empowerment isn’t only opening doors for historical figures.
Currently empowering women, like Megan Thee Stallion, are launching new collaborations. Revlon recently produced the limited-edition Revlon x Megan Thee Stallion Hot Girl Sunset collection sold exclusively on StockX.
Revlon became the first makeup brand to launch a collection on this dynamic e-commerce marketplace.
In October 2021, Megan Thee Stallion announced a limited-edition collaboration with Popeye’s featuring the Megan Thee Stallion Hottie Sauce and co-branded merchandise. Her clothing collaboration with Fashion Nova marked her first-ever fashion collaboration.
Empowering female brands continue to flourish from the characters in our media to real-life heroes. This Women’s History Month, and every month, help celebrate by promoting your favorite females.