For Us By Us… In times where clothing designers are attaching themselves to the heritage and culture of African Americans whether it be positive or negative (pending on your personal perspective) it’s great to see a line designed for us by us. Us being humans of color who know the experiences and challenges of being black, not only in America. It is also a time in society where people are being held accountable for their actions (#blacktwitter) and knowledge is obtained by either typing or talking to a computer for an answer. This access to information has also brewed a black conscious community who is very conscientious of their buying power and the need for the black community to buy black to be black. Similar to the days of Rosewood and the Black Wall Street folks are seeking outlets that support their own.
With this in mind during the re-launch I reflected on of one of the most successful urban labels within the garment industry to date, that took the nation and world by storm growing from a shoestring budget of $40 to a $6 Billion fashion empire. I asked one of the owners, Daymond John if their launch during these times was intentional to bring a movement like before that exemplified the essence of urban? He humbly informed me that although their re-launch could not have happened at a more opportune time given the H&M, Burberry and Gucci fashion debacle their launch during these times was not intentional. Instead, he stated that the re-launch was the culmination of two years of planning. As I observed the familiar faces in the room their re-launch was about getting all the pieces and many of the original team from 1992 back for Round 2. I must admit by the look of the racks after the event was over FUBU has not only re-launched but the FUBU train has pulled out the station. Just like all the merchandise sold that day, FUBU is moving and I dare to say is positioned to possibly clear out the competition once again. I know I bought a shirt not only because the price point was on point (Long Sleeve Embroided Embellished Shirt $39.00) but also I felt a sense of pride that warmed my heart to see us doing it again!
Similar to the initial launch in 1992 FUBU had hats, hoodies, t-shirts and if you were media you received a FUBU branded phone strap to attach to your smart phone. A simple indicator that FUBU will not and never has been just clothes. Another founder, J. Alexander Martin stated so eloquently and succinctly why you wear FUBU; ” The collections are made for people who don’t want to stand out but rather want to be seen.”As you looked around the room that is exactly what you saw. The vibe in the room including the invited media, everyone had a posture of pride and elation. Over and over again you could hear consumers state how happy they were that FUBU is back. The capsule collection introduced 10 styles, based on classic pieces that redefined streetwear over 25 years ago.
Another founder; who is also co-founder of FUBU RADIO, Keith Perrin states, “We were in 5,000 doors globally in the 90’s and today we are taking the E-commerce business model route and collaborating with strategic partners that are a natural fit. When the idea came up about reemerging our brand, we felt Century 21’s downtown location was the best fit. ” He continued by explaining that when developing relations with a brick-and-mortar store you can’t ask for a better partner than Century 21 to reach an audience of diverse consumers. The Century 21 capsule is the first debut of new product from the FUBU, “Can’t Resist A Classic” campaign. “Century 21 is so excited to be a part of this next chapter in the FUBU brand story.” states Century 21 CMO, Michael Wolkoff. “It is our passion to bring our loyal shoppers access to the iconic brands they love and this capsule definitely fits the bill. We can’t wait for original fans of the brand to line up as well as the next generation of shoppers to discover it in our store.”
Line up they did. At one point the line extended around the corner. What made this event event special is everyone was able to meet the four founders: J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, Carl Brown and Daymond John to take pictures with them. Yes its true and evident by the amount of people that came out for the re-launch… “You Can’t Resist a Classic!”