If you were in six blocks of the vicinity of Toronto's Yonge and Bloor this week, then I'm sure you would have heard a stampede of screaming girls and wondered what the heck was going on. Well, Justin Timberlake was going on, as the "Take Back The Night" singer touched down to visit The Bay clothing store.
You see, contrary to reports, JT is still involved in his William Rast clothing line with childhood friend Trace Ayala and, though there have been rumours of slumping sales, the music maestro was happy to unveil his fall collection. Following an introduction by Hudson's Bay Co. vice-chair Bonnie Brooks, the duo took to the stage with Timberlake sporting slicked-back greaser hair, a black blazer, white William Rast logo tee with a cassette tape and jeans. There was then a brief ticket handout (to his gig with Jay Z) and a photo opp, before he was hurried away for on-camera interviews. Boo.
But a bit about the William Rast clothing itself. If you weren't aware, the brand's name originates from combining Timberlake grandfather's first name (William) and Ayala's grandfather's surname (Rast). It's set to expand into all 90 Hudson’s Bay department stores as well as the company’s e-commerce.
"The fall rollout represents a strong commitment to the brand in our stores," said Liz Rodbell, EVP and Chief Merchant of Hudson's Bay Company. She added, "William Rast is a perfect complement to our existing portfolio because it offers a unique casual take on denim drawn from its Tennessee roots."
Yehuda Shmidman, CEO of brand management firm Sequential Brands Group was quick to add to the conversation, telling media that Timberlake and Ayala are still very involved with the brand: “They look at everything. Trace is super on the day-to-day stuff for us. Justin has input on the aesthetic… It’s a true partnership,” with both having an equal stake in its profits.
Timberlake and Ayala now hope to expand into Europe, but success in celebrity clothing lines is a steep slope to climb… as Rihanna, Mischa Barton, Carlos Santana, Lindsay Lohan, Jaime Pressly, SJP, Lauren Conrad, Chris Kirkpatrick and Yoko Ono will all tell them.