The biggest brands in fashion may have their logos plastered all over t-shirts and baseball caps, but it’s the names that make them what they are. When famous faces don the latest gear, they become associated with that brand, eventually becoming a brand of their own.
Here’s a rundown of the big brands that have risen to stardom with the biggest names in fashion entrepreneurship.
The ‘big deal’ in the big brand streetwear market, New York born Russell Simmons co-founded the musical giant Def Jam before turning his hand to the fashion industry, launching streetwear label Phat Farm in 1992.
Originating from a small fashion showroom in New York, the Phat Farm label took the still fairly young streetwear bull by the horns and within the same decade the all American, Ivy League style had become recognisable worldwide, all under the innovation of one Russell Wendell Simmons.
When Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson was signed to Eminem’s signature Shady Records in 2002, it was anybody’s guess how big he would become, but by 2003, he was one of the biggest names in Hip Hop. In the very same year, he took on the streetwear market at the same surprising speed.
Formed in a partnership with Mark Ecko, founder of Ecko Unlimited, 50 launched the G-Unit clothing line and took the world by storm with original designs that reflected the music of one of the biggest influences on urban music in the past decade. Now, 50 cent reportedly carries full ownership of the G-Unit brand, and is waiting for the opportune moment to relaunch the brand at full force.
JAY Z AND DAMON DASH
Along with the aforementioned Def Jam Records, the other biggest giant where all things urban are concerned is Roc-A-Fella Records, founded by Jay-Z and Damon ‘Dame’ Dash in 1995. After unprecedented success in the music industry, the duo launched their signature Rocawear label in 1999.
Taking a route through younger blood, Rocawear made millions from their signature line of products expanded to kidswear, before taking on the luxury market,with collections of jewellery and sunglasses, all backed by the power of two of the biggest names in urban culture.
Musical trio N.E.R.D broke new ground in music with their signature style infusing Hip Hop beats with hard rock riffs, all lead by the vision of singer/songwriter, rapper and producer Pharrell Williams.
Williams has been known throughout his career for an indie style, not tied to the conventional urban phenomenons of bling and bigger is better, and this continued into his fashion career when he launched two different brands, Ice Cream and Billionaire Boys Club in 2005. The original designs from the two labels were exclusively manufactured in Japan, before the label expanded its horizons to Mexico, China and Canada.
Unlike the other entrepreneurs on this list, skateboarding enthusiast Keith Hufnagel was not a music mogul before he turned his hand to the streetwear, but when he did, the industry certainly felt his presence.
Founded in 2002, HUF fast became one of the biggest names in urban fashion with designs that were instinctively original and broke new ground in t-shirt design with prints that were bold and unconventional.
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