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In The Pink?

Could a licensing venture extending Victoria Secret's collegiate-minded Pink brand arise even as Steve & Barry's has filed for bankruptcy protection?

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Could a licensing venture extending Victoria Secret's collegiate-minded Pink brand arise even as Steve & Barry's, born of the college crowd, has filed for bankruptcy protection? It is indeed a possibility, according to Michael S. Stone, president and chief executive officer of The Beanstalk Group, a licensing agency and unit of Omnicom Group.

"We're doing some exploratory work for the Victoria's Secret Pink brand," Stone said Wednesday, between bites of fried clams and french fries and worries about bringing on an angioplasty with his lunchtime choices. While willing to profess his "love" for Pink and his belief that the brand has "really got it right" for its customer with Pink sportswear, sleepwear and accessories, among other things, Stone declined to reveal details.

The licensing executive, a 25-year industry veteran, did indicate it's less than rocket science to scope out new licenses, which are best aimed at groups of shoppers underserved in particular store settings. When Beanstalk licensed the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen names for youth apparel at Wal-Mart, for example, it stirred some excitement for tweens shopping for fashion at discount stores. What Stone and company will look to avoid is another bomb like Olsen twins toothpaste. Though Mary-Kate's and Ashley's names meant something to youths, the ceo said, pairing their identities with toothpaste did not.