Desperate to offset ballooning cash flow problems, the U.S. Postal Service is delving into the cutthroat fashion business with a new line of apparel and accessories, called "Rain Heat & Snow," due out next year.
The line's new tagline stems from the agency's unofficial motto: "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stay these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."
“This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion,” USPS licensing manager Steven Mills said in a statement. “The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create 'smart apparel' -- also known as wearable electronics.”
According to the Washington Post, "wearable electronics" could mean that you'll catch your mailman wearing an iPod stitched into his jacket.
“We’re looking at many different approaches to generate revenue and become more innovative in the marketplace,” USPS rep Roy Betts told the Post. “This is one effort among many that the Postal Service is undertaking to respond to the changing dynamics of the marketplace.”
The USPS has partnered with the Ohio-based manufacturer, the Wahconah Group, which will set up a New York City showroom for the line. The men's line will launch in Spring of 2014, with the women's line to follow.
The agency could turn to reality TV for inspiration. "Project Runway" fans might remember a season one episode of the Bravo show in which contestants were asked to design stylish but functional Postal Service uniforms.