When not reporting for KTLA's "Consumer Confidential" segments, David Lazarus is an award-winning business columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Snail mail is fast going out of style. How is the U.S. Postal Service trying to stay hip? By launching a fashion line.

The quasi-government agency, which is struggling financially and recently announced plans to stop delivering letters on Saturdays, said this week that it will start a line of clothing and accessories.

The collection, to be called “Rain Heat & Snow,” will be made through a license agreement with Cleveland-based apparel firm Wahconah Group Inc. The Postal Service will not incur any cost and will collect royalties from sales, according to USPS spokesman Roy A. Betts.

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  • USPS heads into fashion with clothing line Photo: USPS heads into fashion with clothing line

The deal, which Betts said is “in the development and test phase,” will include outerwear, sportswear, casual wear, athletic wear and seasonal wear.

The garb will be on the “cutting edge of functional fashion,” according to the agency. The so-called “smart apparel” will incorporate electronics – such as a men’s jacket that can be hooked up to an iPod, with volume controls on the sleeve.

For now, the products will only be made for men, with future plans to expand for female customers. Wahconah will showcase the items in a New York City garment district facility.

Eventually, the agency hopes to place the collection in “premier department and specialty stores.”  

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