This year has seen businesswoman and star of the US docu-soap series Real Housewives of Beverley Hills, Brandi Glanville launch her own wine label, Unfiltered Blonde.
Since the launch of the ‘girly, sexy and a bit sassy’ Chardonnay, Glanville has taken her first footsteps into licensing, having signed with the industry specialist Silver Buffalo to develop a new collection of accessories and bar ware inspired by the Unfiltered Blonde name.
Licensing.biz caught up with Glanville and Abrams Artists Agency licensing agent Lynda Cevallos, to discuss the plans for the Unfiltered Blonde brand and Brandi’s excitement for life after Real Housewives.
How did the move from TV to wine accessories come about?
Brandi Glanville: When we were first creating the Unfiltered Blonde brand of wine, it was just so exciting. People were ordering it online without even tasting it. It was then that somebody from Silver Buffalo reached out to Lynda and they then reached out to me about the idea of launching a collection of accessories to go with the bottle.
The bottle to me is so kitschy and fun that I just love it. So that was exciting. Lynda and I then went back and forth and we partnered with Silver Buffalo, who were sending us pictures of products and I was writing back, telling them what I liked, what I didn’t like and what I wanted tweaked.
It didn’t feel like a long process, sort of a few months in the making. I am now really happy with the collection we have, which will be launching over here in Spring 2016.
Lynda Cevallos: Brandi is now working on the packaging. This process has to be perfect to match Brandi’s personality, the logo has to be just right as it is going to continue with other product categories.
BG: The accessories and the logo have to fit with the look of the wine label. Once the ideas for packaging are in line, we will hit production. And it is going to be fun. I don’t think it will be anything anyone has seen before.
What does the name 'Brandi Glanville' bring to the wine and wine accessories sector?
BG: When I look at the collection, it’s very girly, and I do feel that most of my audience is middle-aged women who drink Chardonnay. So I wanted it to be sexy and fun and have a little bit of sass to it.
I am known for being unfiltered and saying what I want. One of my favourite corkscrews has brass knuckles to it, so it’s kind of bad-ass, but really you are still just opening a bottle of wine. It’s not like you’re drinking a 40.
I always joke that it’s like ‘sexy gangster.’
LC: It’s a good image. It’s just what Brandi projects: it’s fun and it’s genuine. Sometimes with wine accessories, it can be so serious, with the glasses and the wine tasting. Our message is that you can have fun with it. You can be genuine and just enjoy a bottle of wine. Brandi brings a lot of that to the market.
BG: There’s no wine snobbery here. There are a lot of people who have that, but that’s not what we’re about. But saying that, the wine is really good and even the snobs seem to like it.
How closely have you worked with the team and Linda to get the products right?
BG: Silver Buffalo does a lot of different licensed products. They have been doing this forever, so it’s easy for them to send me over ideas and then I basically draw all over their pictures and send them back.
LC: And she’s very good at it, too. There will be little notes all over things and we’re like ‘Oh yeah, that’s a good idea.’ There is a lot of back and forth. She is our product and our brand and our product development guru, so it all circles back and forth with ideas.
BG: I love what Silver Buffalo do. I also love to Brandi-ise everything.
At what point did you all see the potential for Brandi to become a big name in this market?
BG: It’s interesting. I have been doing a podcast called Brandi Glanville Unfiltered and when we were coming up with a name for the wine, it was so difficult to come up with a name because everything is already licensed.
We turned in so many names, but went with Unfiltered Blonde so to stick with the same theme and hopefully branch it out into other products as well.
But we naturally came upon the idea. It wasn’t like ‘I’m a narcissist, I need my name everywhere.’ I don’t need my name all over everything, but I like the idea of starting a brand that is Unfiltered Blonde that people will recognise.
I would love Unfiltered Blonde to take on new ideas and cross other borders.
What products would you like to take the brand into?
BG: I would love to see Unfiltered Blonde lingerie. I wanted a name that could easily cross into other categories.
Right now, we are focused on the wine and Silver Buffalo’s licensed range to go with it. I really tend to do one thing at a time, and I do it with my all. But in the future I would ultimately love to have a perfume, a bathing suit or a lingerie collection.
LC: Silver Buffalo, as a licensee and a manufacturer, really knows what is out there and what would be the next category to complement the wine, accessories and table top range. So, they are also thinking ‘we have the hardlines, so what about doing the runners, and the napkins and the softlines.’ And then maybe going into the kitchenware or cute little aprons.
They’re also seeing a real need for something like Brandi’s brand, so to them it’s an automatic extension. For us, we have to focus on one thing at a time. There’s so much she could do, but we are taking our time.
BG: It’s like a baby. We want to make sure everything is perfect and wonderful before moving to the next one.
How active are you in promoting the wine label?
BG: With the wine, I am travelling all over to get it out there, doing signings, getting distribution to the point where it works for itself and I can give 100 per cent of my attention to the accessory lines. I have signings in restaurants and have made all my restaurant friends carry the wine. So I am definitely hustling.
I think that if people get to meet me and talk with me, they are more inclined to order the wine, so we will sit down and have a glass together, and then I will make them get it. I am a hard worker and I don’t want this to fail.
The wine is also very good.
How will the Unfiltered Blonde brand translate to the international market?
BG: I would love to see this taken to the international market. I have been to Australia a few times and have worked with a magazine over there. They are definitely interested in carrying all of the Unfiltered Blonde stuff.
Also, I believe Housewives is becoming popular over in the UK. I would love to get myself over there. It’s part of the plan, but we will take it slowly, because I want to kill it in the States first.
I love traveling, it’s always nice to meet normal people who aren’t from LA and I really enjoy being part of the process and the product and getting that out there. I am definitely that person.
So in your big plan, what’s the next move?
BG: Ah well, my next big move is moving house, then we have a couple of things in the works with TV and more that I am not allowed to talk about, yet. I’d love to, but the agent will kill me.
There are some really great things coming and I am excited to see life after Housewives. I am excited to see what that brings and I am excited to be happy again.