Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Urban Retailers listen up the end is near

Maybe it’s time to shut down or have a massive rethink as the big boys are entering the market of urban fashion, streetwear and hip hop, let hope independent thinkers stick with the independent retailers, I mean who wants to look like everybody else?
Anyway on to the story

There’s a new men's clothing line designed by hip-hop entrepreneur Russell Simmons called American Classics, and will launch in the next few weeks at 350 US Wal-Mart stores.

A search on some obscure website called walmart[dot]com reveals the line appears mainstream, even preppy, with plaid shorts, button-down shirts, zip cargo pants and a cable knit sweater.

Simmons, who designs the Phat Farm and Argyle Culture apparel lines, told BusinessWeek magazine recently that his focus for American Classics is the "urban graduate," whom he described as a 25- to 50-year-old man who identifies with men ranging from Will Smith to President Obama.

Simmons has been instrumental in bringing the powerful influence of hip-hop culture to every facet of business and media since its inception in the late 1970s and has been listed as the most influential mogul in hip hop. From producing and/or managing such early hip-hop artists such as Kurtis Blow, Run-DMC (Run is Russell's brother), Whodini and the Beastie Boys to signing contemporary superstars like Jay-Z and Tupac Shakur, Simmons’ groundbreaking vision was crystallized with partner Rick Rubin in the creation of the seminal Def Jam Recordings in 1984, launching the cultural revolution known as hip-hop.

Meanwhile, Sears (another US big boy) is showing off its line of denim, T-shirts and hoodies by hip-hop artist LL Cool J at New York's Fashion Week.

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