In the final part of the series Hip Hop Fashion Labels – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Ones That Got Away we’re going to talk about what everyone’s been waiting for The Good. In case you need a refresher on how these labels are being broken down, here are the definitions.
The Good, these are the labels that are very popular, fashionable, make a lot of money and have been around for years. These are the labels that changed the game.
The Bad, these are the labels that missed their mark. Was it the design? Was it because it was too expensive/cheap? Did they miss their target audience?
The Ugly, these are labels that may still be in business today, or maybe they failed, but they had/have hideous clothes. These are the fashion labels that should have never been and that show why an artist and a fashion line are not always synonymous.
The Ones That Got Away, these are the fashion labels that never made it out the gate.
Don’t forget there is a contest associated with this post and we’re giving you 2 chances to win. You can enter by simply leaving a comment below on the post and telling us your thoughts and you can also enter by tweeting @BadPermDotCom with the hashtag #BadPermHookMeUp with a picture of your ‘ugliest’ hip-hop fashion and be entered to win. It’s just that simple.
Now that you’re all versed on the breakdowns and the contest, let’s get into The Good.
Jay- Z – Rocawear
Rocawear was founded in 1999 by Shawn “Jay -Z” Carter and Damon Dash. The company was extremely successful and in 2007 had reported revenue of 700 million dollars. After Dame and Jay-Z parted ways, Jay-Z bought Dame out and still continues to have his hand in the brand. He continues making clothing that is relevant and successful today. The brand is still very fashionable and continues to make clothing that is relevant for the times.
Russell Simmons – Phat Farm, Baby Phat
Phat Farm was created in 1992 by Russell Simmons. It was a fashion sporty urban line which in 1993 expanded into Baby Phat, a women’s wear line. The brands have been extremely popular since their humble beginnings, being seen in fashion shows and around the world. Russell’s now ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons ran the Baby Phat portion of the company and even had their daughters model in the brands children’s clothing line. This was a brand that has been extremely successful over the decades and has expanded into a multi million dollar business.
P.Diddy – Sean John
Sean Combs started Sean John in 1998, which was named after his first and middle name. The clothing line enjoyed a lot of success it its first year in 1999 and in 2000 was nominated for a Council of Fashion Designers of America Award, but lost, the line later won the prestigious award in 2004. Having revenue of over 100 million dollars annually, Diddy knew what he had was going to be big and always took it to the next level. From extravagant fashion shows to owning his own retail store for the brand. The clothing has always adapted with the ever changing fashion industry and has still always managed to appeal to its customers.
Pharrell Williams – Ice Cream, Billionaire Boys Club
Billionaire Boys Club was founded in 2005 by Pharrell Williams and Japanese fashion icon Nigo, founder of A Bathing Ape (BAPE). They collaborated to launch two premium streetwear brands, Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream. After many set backs with Reebok Ice Cream was later launched as a sister company to A Bathing Ape. The brands both encompass Pharrell‘s fashion vision and taste, as he loves skateboarding and Japanese culture. BBC and Ice Cream ushered in the skateboarding scene and has even influenced the style of many amateur skaters including Pharrell‘s younger brother Cato Williams, who is a part of the Ice Cream Skate Team. In December 2011, Pharrell announced the launch of Billionaire Girls Club, which included some vests, tee’s and tanks. It was very plain, but still sold out. I can only imagine what Pharrell has in store for the woman’s line this fall. With both lines selling luxury items at high end prices you may think that sales would have been low, but the brands have made items that people love and are willing to pay premium for the quality and materials as well as the design of the product.
Nelly – Apple Bottom Clothing
Nelly launched Apple Bottom Clothing in 2003 with the motto “…the clothes should fit a woman not a woman fit the clothes”. His line was designed for woman with big hips, thick thighs and ‘apple bottoms’. In 2004,Oprah appeared on the show in a pair of Apple Bottom Jeans and included them on her Favorite Things show. The brand started off as a denim line, but with its success expanded into woman’s and girl’s clothing, accessories as well as perfume. The brand enjoyed a lot of success and even though you no longer see a ton of woman sporting the jeans, they had a lot of success and had the woman’s denim market on lockdown.
Drake – OVO
Drake and his team – October’s Very Own, have been sporting their own branded clothing for a while, but it wasn’t until July 31st 2011 at the OVO Fest in Toronto that Drake took the collection to the masses. They previewed the collection on their website, October’s Very Own, and sold out at the concert. It was pure MAYHEM when I was there trying to get some shirts. The clothing is extremely successful and there are even many knockoffs of the line. He’s made his own Canada Goose jackets as well as his own tour jacket with Roots. All of his clothing is available in exclusive quantities at exclusive venues. Is this smart business for a future in fashion or just a fad?
For Drake‘s Club Paradise tour they had merchandise available, but I’m interested to see what Drake has in store for the rest of this line and where he’s going to take it. Will he expand at this year’s OVO Fest? Will the clothing just be cool concert memorabilia?
50 Cent – G-Unit Clothing Company
G-Unit Clothing Company was founded in 2003 when 50 Cent teamed up with Marc Ecko to create the clothing and accessory line. In 2008, the company split with Ecko and 50 Cent now maintains sole ownership of the clothing line. During the height of the clothing line’s success, it has been said that the line accounted for 15% of Marc Ecko Enterprises revenues. Pardon?! 15%!! If 50 could have kept his empire in tact and kept the music solid, I have no doubt in my mind he could have built up the clothing as well. 50 dropped the ball on this cash cow and has no one to blame but himself.
Birdman – YMCMB
YMCMB, how could 5 letters be so profitable you ask? When Birdman is behind it that’s how. Birdman realized with the success of rappers on his label such as Drake and Nicki Minaj and fans everywhere idolizing them, it was time to put some house branded clothing on them to take their revenues to the next level. Get all your basics from vests, sweats, hoodies, iPad cases, tees and more at the YMCMB website. What’s next you ask? Get all the hottest celebrities wearing it so their fan base would want it too.. and voila… you have YMCMB Clothing, basic clothes with YMCMB plastered on it.
Wu-Tang – Wu Wear
Riding off the success of Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), Wu Wear was born. It initially started as a way to make money off of the demand of bootleg Wu shirts that people were already selling. The clothing line was so successful that by the late 90s and early 2000s other hip hop artists were following suit, launching their own clothing lines successfully and unsuccessfully (as we’ve seen throughout this series). I remember as a kid always wanting a pair of Wu Tang Wallabees. Even though the brand isn’t as popular as it once was, its success and longevity in the clothing game showed other artists how to expand their brand in to more.
Clipse – Play Cloths
In November 2008 Clipse announced their new fashion line, Play Cloths and released a mixtape, Road to til the Casket Drops, in December of that year to promote the clothing line. On the About Us section of the Play Cloths website the brand is described as the following:
Play Cloths is a progressive streetwear brand with a foucs on the creation of high quaility garments adaptable to any lifestyle.
Harkening back to the childhood notion of having clothing designated for school and for play, the brand expands on the idea producing a range of apparel admissible whether your playground is the streets of Virginia or the beaches of St. Tropez. Utilizing bold graphics and a variation of stylistic influences, Play Cloths embraces individuality without sacrificing quality for style. Play Cloths is all work, all play.
The brand has enjoyed a lot of success and has continued to expand and grow from just clothing to shoes and accessories.
Now, let’s be honest, did you wear any of these brands? Did you think you were the hot sh*t wearing them?? If so, I want to know about it and better yet see it! We’re giving you two ways to win.
Leave me a comment and let me know if you wore any of these labels. For another chance to win, Tweet @badpermdotcom with the hashtag #BadPermHookMeUp with pictures in your ‘ugliest’ hip hop fashion and be entered into our contest for a chance to win some dope gear courtesy of our friends over at Freshest Goods.
One winner will be selected from all the photo comments received from the “Hip Hop Fashion Labels – The Good, The Bad, The Ugly and The Ones That Got Away” series by July 29th 2012. The winner will be announced via the comment section and twitter on July 30th 2012.