HBO’s Alabama Connection

It was all fun, T-Shirts and a Sopranos wine and water bar at The HBO Shop in New York City recently, when Natalie Chanin, designer and founder of the clothing company, Alabama Chanin, previewed her limited edition, too cute collection of hand-decorated T’s for women and men.

In an obvious, albeit smart way to capitalize on the popularity of many of its current and past shows to lots of shoppers in the store, HBO hooked up with the designer to create a nice variety of recycled pieces from some of HBO’s past collections, featuring logos and key themes from the company’s pop-culture shows such as Entourage, True Blood, Flight of the Conchord, Sex & the City and The Sopranos.

T-shirts and TV shows aside, it is equally smart that HBO hitched its star to a designer such as Chanin, whose store and editorial credits include Barney’s, a 2005 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Funds Awards nomination, features in WWD, and a 2009 fall collection Fashion Week runway show.

OK, so it is all good with this new collection at the HBO retail store, right. Well, maybe and maybe not, because there might just be a bit of a catch here. Now, while the pieces are fresh and au courant, the price-points seem to be just a little bit off kilter and out of whack, especially considering the hard economic times in which many of us are living right now. So, no matter how much someone might like and relate to those HBO shows; ditto for one of Chanin’s cool and artistic T’s, the question that begs to be answered is whether or not the $65 or $85 price-tag hanging from the garment, is really worth it. As the old adage goes, only time will tell.

-Adrienne Weinfeld-Berg



Ernest Schmatolla is publisher of Lookonline since 1994. It is the longest running fashion site on the Internet.

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