So what do we think?
Womens Wear Daily got a chance to talk with Shawn Carter on the upstarts of Rocawear, it’s growth, and the future of the brand. Many may think Hov isn’t as involved with the company as he once was, however the mogul still has big aspirations for Rocawear.
“Dame did a great job when he was here,” Carter said. “I just feel that I have a different way of running things, which I think is working out well. I let people make mistakes, and push them to be creative. I let a design team design. When they feel good about something they have created, it makes them want to do more. It makes them want to do their best. People are happy here. I’m not a controlling manager and I have a great team that makes me confident that things can run well when I’m on the road, and I’m proud of that.”
“So, in April 2007, he agreed to partner with Iconix Brand Group, which acquired the Rocawear brand for $204 million in cash. In the deal, Neil Cole, Iconix’s ceo, became Carter’s partner and in turn, Carter was going to help Cole with future Iconix deals.”
“I got to know Neil, and we now have the same mission: Our goal is to make Rocawear a $1 billion company,” he said. “It may take us more time than we would like since the economy is in the shape that it’s in, but I’m confident that we will get there.”
One of his biggest mistakes? “We really should have done some Rihanna Rocawear umbrellas when that song became a hit. We could have made a load of money on those. I’m still kicking myself.”
By Ismael AbduSalaam
Apparel licensing company and Rocawear manufacturer Iconix has completed a new deal that gives them a 51% stake in the Ecko clothing brand.
The deal gives Iconix a majority stake in Ecko’s private portfolio, and was finalized for the amount of $63.5 million.
Iconix expects a quick turnaround on their investment, projecting the venture to generate $42-$44 million in revenue by the end of 2010.
If the projection proves accurate, Iconix will post a $26 million share of the proceeds.
Iconix chief executive Neil Cole expects the success to stem largely from Ecko’s diverse brand which currently boasts 12 distinct lines such as Ecko Unlimited (men), Ecko Red (women), Zoo York (skateboarding), and Marc Ecko Scopes (eyewear).
“Ecko already has strong licensing partners and a robust European platform, from which we could leverage the rest of our portfolio,” Cole explained in a statement.
In addition, Cole verified that Ecko founder Marc Ecko will retain his position as the brand’s chief creative officer. Ecko was founded as a small, urban clothing line in 1993.
Over the past 16 years, Marc Ecko has expanded his brand from its initial strong Hip-Hop following to mainstream acceptance and recognition.
The new agreement follows Ecko’s previous marketing and merchandising deal with G-Unit Clothing, which spanned from 2003-2008.
Mogul Jay-Z and partnering company Iconix China have secured an expansion deal to bring the Rocawear brand to the country of China.
The deal was finalized with Bosideng International Holdings, who will manufacture the brand’s Spring 2010 lines.
Additionally, the company has forecasted a timetable to break ground on over 300 Rocawear stores throughout Greater China by 2012.
As an original founder of Rocawear, Jay-Z stated that making the brand an international product was one of his main goals since selling the company’s rights to Iconix for $204 million.
“When Iconix purchased the Rocawear trademark two years ago, Neil Cole and I made a commitment to building Rocawear into a global lifestyle brand,” Jay explained in a prepared statement. “Our expansion into China is a validation of our joint efforts to bring an authentic interpretation of American fashion to young people around the world.”
The deal is reported to be a 50-50 split venture with Iconix Brand Group and Novel Fashion Holding Limited.
Last year, the Rocawear brand remained strong despite the ailing U.S. economy, grossing sales of 18.3 million dollars in the third quarter alone.
At press time, Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 LP is tentatively aimed for a September release.