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Friday 21 May 2010


Hip-Hop And The Fashion Entreprenuer.

'Fresh to death head to toe till the day I rest, S-dots on my feet make my chypher complete...times that by my influence on pop culture, i supposed to be number one on everybody list...'
Jay -Z (What more can I Say- The Black Album).

This is an excerpt from one of Jay-Z's songs talking about his love for fashion and how it has made him a very wealthy and powerful man. He is one of many hip-hop artists who have managed to successfully leverage their multi-platinum record sales into viable enterprises including establishing successful fashion businesses.

The God Father of hip-hop fashion is none other than Russell Simmons of PhatFarm. Although he was not a hip-hop artist, he was the founder of Def Jam Records that bruoght us the many hip-hop artists we have come to enjoy such as DMX, Ja-Rule, Ludacris, Jay-Z, Nas to mention but a few.

Most of these artists took the blueprint from Russell and established their own fashion labels (such as Jay-Z -Rocawear, P Diddy-SeanJohn, 50Cent-G Unit clothing, Nelly-Vokal) and many many others.

In the early 1980's the 'in' hip-hop fashion for New York City Black youth included Gazelles (glasses), sheepskins and leather bombers (Coats), Clarks (shoes), name plates and name belts.

Today hip-hop's commercialized element has all the youth all over the world on the same page, regardless of geographic region. In this hip-hop freindly international environment, hip-hop designers such as Enyce, Mecca, FUBU, PhatFarm, Rocawear etc are thriving multi-million dollar businesses largely because of the ever-increasing popularity of the artists endorsing them many of whom own the labels themselves.

By tapping into the popularity for hip-hop culture, some artists have also extended their entreprenurial skills to do collabos with some 'blue-chip' fashion houses for example: Pharell Williams of The Neptunes did a sunglasses line for Louis Vuitton, Kanye West did a sneaker collection for Louis Vuitton and a bag for the exclusive leather manufacturer Goyard, 50 Cent has a contract with Reebok for sneakers so is Jay-Z and the Simmons family have their own line called Run-Athletic with Reeebok as well.

In conclusion, the new hip-hop fashion entreprenuer is as savvy as they come and is now punching in the same weight as the 'big boys'.

P.S. Tommorrow , we shall delve into some revenues for these companies. Hope I'm Not boring you with all this.
Have a smahing weekend, and remember kids, don't do anything I wouldn't do or otherwise your uncle David won't be happy.


The Photodiarist said...

Jay Z. Love that chap's music. Just returned from the gym where my ears were filled with his latest album. Not in love with his fashion line, though. Nor that of any of the rappers who've made that leap. . .

Biana said...

Don't worry, you don't bore me. It's interesting. Oh and you forgot to mention Pharell did a collection of sneakers for CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN!! Great article!

I once saw DMX in person, at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam. I was standing in line, beside him to check out. I didn't recognize him, even though I made eye-contact several times. Untill some girl-fans came to ask a picture. ha ha... So I was like.. oooooooooohh!

Fashionistable said...

I love Jay-Z. Amazing man. Have a great sun filled weekend. Xxxx

daniela kate morosini said...

"Can I just say that the kate moss collection is crap." - YOU ARE MY FAVOURITE PERSON SOMETIMES :)

as a girl, i haven't really noticed much of this; i don't think women are the target market somehow. although didn't sean john have some women's fragance? i can't remember..

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