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Rap: Clothing lines owned by hip hop artists

Clothing lines owned by hip hop artists















Sean John

Sean 'P.Diddy' Combs has always incorporated his great sense of style into every aspect of his life. In 1998, Mr. Combs decided to fulfill a life-long dream when he launched a signature collection of sportswear under his name Sean John.

Mr. Combs created Sean John clothing to fill a void in the market for well-made, sophisticated, fashion forward clothing that also reflected an urban sensibility and style. 'I always had the idea that I would start my own apparel line, but I wanted to make sure the timing was right and that I had the time to devote to it,' said Diddy about his personal thoughts around the time when he first started the development of Sean John.

Since its launch, Sean John has enjoyed critical and commercial success. Through the support of both the fashion community and retailers, Sean John has quickly grown from an urban label to an international brand.

Sean John has become a usual suspect at the prestigious award ceremony for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) held annually in New York. For three consecutive years since 2000, Sean John has been nominated for its excellence in design.

Sean John shares this distinction with an elite group of designers that include Marc Jacobs and Helmut Lang. Industry insiders and the media largely credit Sean John with the return of excitement to the world of fashion. In February of 2001, Sean John successfully produced the first nationally televised runway show during Fall Fashion Week when it simultaneously aired live on E! Television and the Style Network.

During fashion week in February of 2002, the venerable New York Times conferred Sean John with a front-page story on the interminable success of the fashion house.

The collection consisting of shirtings, knitwear, bottoms, outerwear, t-shirts, hats and jeans is inspired by Mr. Sean "P-Diddy" Combs' image and reflects his diverse personal style. The line is produced four times a year and is geared to boys and men ages 12 to 40. Distribution of the collection is targeted to better department and specialty chain stores.

'We are not in the clothing business for a quick hit. We are truly committed to the expansion and growth of the men's marketplace and will use all of our resources to ensure that quality in both design and production of Sean John always exceeds your expectation,' said P.Diddy.' We would ultimately like to have Sean John viewed as the Future of Fashion.'

Rocawear

Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, the Roc-A-Fella executive and star rapper along with Roc-A-Fella C.E.O., Damon Dash, launched Rocawear in 1999. According to Dash, the line was created to be a reflection of his, as well as Jay-Z's, personal style of dress.

Shawn Carter was born on December 4th, 1969 to the home of Gloria Carter, who lived in the Marcy Project Housing section of Brooklyn. Carter, who's worldly known as "Jay Z", built a career that boasted the latest fashions, exclusive brands, and expensive jewelry. Hip Hop culture immediately followed his career and mocked his style after his music crossed over the from a struggling artist to a major Hip Hop and Pop icon.

Rumors even state that Jay-Z derived his name from the slang "jazzy". Peers used to think he dressed so fly before rap, that they wanted to give him a nickname related to the word, and then the spoof of the slang, "Jay Z" was born to title Shawn Carter's alter-ego.

Damon Dash, who's known as "Dame" by friends and family, and "Mr Fresh To Def" by the public, was born in Harlem, NYC in the year 1975. Dash is known for his marketing savvy that reminds you much of the "Harlem Hustle" many people in Hip Hop culture rap and talk about. Endlessly promoting products in videos through usually a sly but consumer friendly technique, Dame's definitely a part of the reason that many of Rocafella's non-music products soared into success.

In his own time, Dame also found time to launch two subsidiary Rocawear lines, "Wash House" and "Team Roc" apparel labels.

"Wash House", which Dame said in 2004, was not a new line, is Rocafella's co-founders' attempt to reach into a new demographic of clients. Dame told AllHipHop.com reporters in 2004 "Well its not really a new line its still Roc-A-Fella but we are trying to take over every demographic and make sure we are the best at everything... We have good urban wear, so we are not going away from what we've been making, we're just adding to. As you can see Jay is wearing dress shirts and things like that, a more adult look a more boutique look sometimes a tighter fit but we're not going to stop making what we're making - it's just in addition to." "The creation of the Team Roc line is a dream come true for me," said Dame Dash in 2004 about Jay and his athletic line "Team Roc". He even went on in detail saying "It's been in the works for a long time. Every great company, every empire, should have its philanthropic goals. The idea is simple: to put something back into the community that has given us so much. Team Roc started with the Mission Society up in Harlem, where I'm from. Now we have the opportunity to turn it into something really big on a national level. My love for sport really equipped me with the tools I needed to succeed in business and in life; competitiveness, will, teamwork. That's what Team Roc is all about."

The Team Roc athletic line - which is available in sporting goods, specialty and department stores now - was inspired by and grew out of Damon's long-standing work with the New York City Mission Society, an organization serving the children and families of Harlem, the South Bronx, and other communities in need with programs and initiatives in education, preventive services, personal growth and development, and recreation. Now a full-fledged brand unto itself, a portion of net proceeds from sales of Team Roc will go towards the newly established Team Roc Foundation - co-chaired by Dash - and will benefit the development of sports programs in economically challenged neighborhoods.

2004 was also a big year for Shawn Carter aka S.Dot. Ultimately known as Jay Z, Shawn Carter was presented the opportunity to produce his own footwear through Reebok. Given his own collection known as the "S.Carter Collection", like the duo's clothing company "Wash House", Jay's footwear also directly related to his "Grown and Sexy" trend.

Since it's initial launch in 1999, Rocawear has risen to new heights producing exceptional quality denim jeans, original, flavorful designs, as well as accessories such as hats, belts, lounge wear, and boxers. On top of those accomplishments, Rocawear also launched a women's line, a children's line, and international sites that offer fashion exclusive to only certain countries.

Vokal

In April of 1997 Yomi Martin, Cornell "Nelly" Haynes Jr, and Nick Loftis founded Vokal clothing. With the teamwork of those three, along with Vice President Ian Kelly, Voakl's team begain selling t-shirts, jerseys, and custom clothing from their homes and car trunks. The group was also retailing themself without the help of stores, malls, or outlets.

At the time, Vokal's team of Yomi and Nelly were creating pieces that were inspired a lot of times by the home metro, St. Louis, Missouri. Vokal began selling successfully within the county limits after a short period of hustling the Vokal name throughout the streets of St. Louis. While official sells were not released, sells were said to be well beyond a few thousand pieces.

Over time, Vokal was officially creating custom jerseys for baseball superstar and co-founder Cornell "Nelly" Haynes Jr, as well as his cousin's Hip Hop group, the St. Lunatics. With the group's name growing in popularity, Vokal's business group even put began touring with the St. Lunatics, repping Vokal and selling clothing after the St. Lunatic's events because many people wanted to buy what the then, independant artists were wearing. Vokal essentially grew right along with the career of Nelly and the St. Lunatics.

With a regionally diverse compilation of clothing marketers, Vokal's business group brought a wide ranging background of flavors to the Hip Hop Fashion market as one by 2002. The groups partners, executive officers, and designers hailed from all over. Including the cities St. Louis, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and New York, the Vokal team used their creative diversity as an advantage to develop a new nationally aware edge in urban fashion. Vokal clothing was also highly seperated from most other clothing lines at the time because their celebrity founder and media model, Nelly, took an active role in helping design, edit, and create clothing.

In his own time, Dame also found time to launch two subsidiary Rocawear lines, "Wash House" and "Team Roc" apparel labels.

"Wash House", which Dame said in 2004, was not a new line, is Rocafella's co-founders' attempt to reach into a new demographic of clients. Dame told AllHipHop.com reporters in 2004 "Well its not really a new line its still Roc-A-Fella but we are trying to take over every demographic and make sure we are the best at everything... We have good urban wear, so we are not going away from what we've been making, we're just adding to. As you can see Jay is wearing dress shirts and things like that, a more adult look a more boutique look sometimes a tighter fit but we're not going to stop making what we're making - it's just in addition to." "The creation of the Team Roc line is a dream come true for me," said Dame Dash in 2004 about Jay and his athletic line "Team Roc". He even went on in detail saying "It's been in the works for a long time. Every great company, every empire, should have its philanthropic goals. The idea is simple: to put something back into the community that has given us so much. Team Roc started with the Mission Society up in Harlem, where I'm from. Now we have the opportunity to turn it into something really big on a national level. My love for sport really equipped me with the tools I needed to succeed in business and in life; competitiveness, will, teamwork. That's what Team Roc is all about."

The Team Roc athletic line - which is available in sporting goods, specialty and department stores now - was inspired by and grew out of Damon's long-standing work with the New York City Mission Society, an organization serving the children and families of Harlem, the South Bronx, and other communities in need with programs and initiatives in education, preventive services, personal growth and development, and recreation. Now a full-fledged brand unto itself, a portion of net proceeds from sales of Team Roc will go towards the newly established Team Roc Foundation - co-chaired by Dash - and will benefit the development of sports programs in economically challenged neighborhoods.
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