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Jay-Z Announces Rocawear’s Future

Submitted by on September 28, 2011 – 9:58 am10 Comments

The idea of becoming a father isn’t slowing Jay-Z down. In addition to preparing for his upcoming “Watch The Throne” nationwide tour with Kanye West, the mogul’s focusing on the latest evolution of his clothing brand, Rocawear.

A $600 million dollar business that’s gone from strength to strength since its creation in 1999 by Jay, Damon Dash and Kareem”Biggs” Burke and their clothing industry partners, Rocawear is a lone shining star from the original crew of urban brands that included its predecessors Phat Farm and FUBU, plus Sean John, Mecca, Enyce and more.

The original marketing team behind Rocawear is still an integral part of the brand’s success and their current mission is to not only satiate the line’s loyal customer base but attract a new generation of customers. The company (owned by Iconix Brands now, which also houses Badgely Mischka, Artful Dodger, Candies and more) is aggressively undertaking this task in a number of ways. One is expanding the collection’s licenses, which over time has included branded strollers (until British parenting lifestyle company Maclaren came calling), infant bedding, swimwear and more. They’re also going strong with international expansion, particularly in the growing regions of the Middle East, Canada, Japan and Brazil. By the end of this year, there will be 50 Rocawear stores in China alone, and Jay’s planning on making a big splash with the brand at fashion tradeshow Bread & Butter in Berlin next year.

Exhaustive brand awareness research (which included an online survery of over 380,000 people) revealed consumers view Rocawear as one of the last standing urban brands, an aspirational brand that indeed has a perceived value. Customers fall into two predominant types: “Rocawear Classic,” a more traditional buyer familiar with the brand’s heritage and Rocawear, a newer customer who casually intersperses items from the line into their closet. With a clearer idea of who is what, the stage has been set for the brand’s future initiatives.

For example, this year’s “That’s Rocawear” campaign expanded their access to various youth culture sub-sectors, featuring cool kid acts like Karmin and bloggers like Madbury Club while still showing love to their core customer base and featuring talent like Power 105.1 host Charlamagne Tha God. Trey Songz is the star of an Anthony Mandler-directed steamy ad campaign (there’s even a NSFW version) for Evolution, the brand’s fragrance. Fresh from the success of their Transfomers collection, the brand has partnered with upcoming film Battleship (starring Rihanna) to produce a capsule collection, due February 2012. Around that time television ads will also debut marking Jay’s latest effort for the brand—a “Marcy To Madison Square” video adventure where when viewed online, items can be clicked on in an effort to win them (like Jay’s watch, clothes; even his car).

And while Watch The Throne tour tickets may be sold out, Rocawear are offering lucky customers the chance to win them as part of a gift with purchase system from various retailers. For the full list, head over to Rocawear.com.

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