Macy’s makes really big move

To launch a new big and tall menswear line Macy’s drafted the biggest and tallest person it could find — Shaquille O’Neal.

O’Neal, or Shaq as he is widely known, stands seven feet, one inch tall and was listed at 325 pounds during his playing days. His new line in partnership with Peerless Clothing is called the Shaquille O’Neal Collection and will be available exclusively at 100 of Macy’s 800 stores and beginning this month. The offering will be anchored by suit separates with pants starting at $150 and jackets at $400 in sizes up to 60 extra long. Patterns include traditional solids, stripes and plaids, as well as sharkskin in shades of black, navy, tan and grey.

"My interest in developing a menswear collection was based on the lack of fashion choices for big and tall customers and the higher prices for larger size suits," O'Neal said. "I also was frustrated that I had to go to a big and tall store rather than shop with my friends at the local department or specialty store. I originally wanted to develop a more fashion-forward menswear collection at an affordable price. Once Peerless and I developed the collection, the reaction from Macy's was so positive that we decided to make the collection in all sizes."

The offering will be marketed online and in-store as well as through newspaper advertisements and personal appearances. In addition, Shaq will lend his oversize personality to promoting the line by wearing garments from the collection during his televisions appearances on TNT's "Inside the NBA" and other television appearances.

"Shaquille O'Neal is one of the most iconic athletes of our time, and we are thrilled that he chose Macy's to launch this extension of his superstar talent into the world of tailored clothing," said Richard Arnstein, Macy's EVP/GMM of Mens. "With his high-profile lifestyle, Mr. O'Neal understands the power of being well dressed, and this new collection of suit separates will appeal to men of any size who truly appreciate style and quality."

Ronny Wurtzburger, president of Peerless Clothing, said O’Neal possesses brand attributes that will resonate with shoppers regardless of their size.

"When it comes to fashion, Shaq is a trendsetter. He has strong consumer appeal among African Americans, Hispanic Americans, moms who relate to his dedication to providing quality products at affordable prices, and kids who see him as their ultimate role model,” Wurtzburger said.

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