Back in fashion after 50 years – Marilyn

The Hollywood sex symbol died in 1962 but one label believes she can still tempt teen shoppers

Nearly 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe continues to exert a powerful hold. And now the star of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and The Seven Year Itch – perhaps Hollywood's greatest sex symbol – is to have a fashion line named after her.

The posthumous clothing label is the first fruit of the controversial 2007 court case which ruled that the actress's heirs no longer own the exclusive rights to her likeness.

The range is being launched by the Shaw Archives, the company which took on Monroe's estate last year in what was described as a David and Goliath legal battle.

The Shaw Archives owns 400 exclusive photographs of Monroe taken by her friend and photographer Sam Shaw. Before the court case, anyone wanting to use such images commercially had to pay the Monroe estate. The actress had no children or spouse when she died in 1962, and left the bulk of her estate to her acting coach, Lee Strasberg. Following his death, control of the estate passed to his wife, Anna Strasberg.

UK manufacturer Blues Clothing will be launching the new range of Marilyn Monroe T-shirts, dresses and underwear next spring.

Those hoping to emulate the blonde's classic style may be disappointed, however, as the budget fashion line is brightly coloured and aimed at teenagers.

"It was the image of her, rather than her clothes, that we wanted to convey," said Josy Fouché-Guibon of Blues Clothing Europe. "Marilyn is an iconic figure but many teenagers and young ladies today haven't encountered her."

Baptised Norma Jeane Baker, the Californian worked in munitions before changing her name, and relaunching herself first as a model and then as the platinum blonde starlet.

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