Russian small-arms company Izhmash, which produces the famous Kalashnikov assault rifles, is to produce Kalashnikov fashion clothes under its world renowned brand, Life News Online reported on Thursday.
Izhmash General Director Maksim Kuzyuk said his company intends to consolidate the brand, the rights to which currently belong to the family of the famous arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov.
“Izhmash is currently holding negotiations with Mikhail Kalashnikov on the provision of professional services for brand management. For this purpose, it is necessary to ensure that only Izhmash should exclusively represent the brand and have the possibility to determine the policy of its use,” he said.
Kuzyuk has said unprofessional management of the legendary name is damaging its world renowned brand.
A deal for the purchase of the exclusive rights to the Kalashnikov brand is scheduled for late summer.
After the exclusive rights to the Kalashnikov brand are consolidated, Izhmash plans to produce a variety of Kalashnikov-branded products from clothes to souvenirs, he said.
Brand specialists think the potential price of the Kalashnikov brand could be as high as world-renowned brands like Apple.
“The real value of this brand is around the $10 billion range and may potentially grow to $100-150 billion. By comparison, Beeline (mobile phone) brand is worth about $5 billion,” said BrandLab managing partner Alexander Yeryomenko.
The Kalashnikov family has long been licensing the production of non-core goods under the legendary name, and the Glazovsky liquor plant has been producing Kalashnikov-brand vodka since 1995.
A German company, MMI, already has the rights to produce watches, umbrellas and other everyday goods under the Kalashnikov brand.