Hova’s capsule collection targets the nostalgia of 90s-era teenagers that have grown fat wallets
Businessmen can now dress like the business, man.
Jay-Z’s lifestyle brand Roc96 this week launched a high-end clothing capsule collection that retails exclusively at Barney’s New York. The unisex line, made in collaboration with concertwear designer MadeWorn, includes everything from camouflage colored cotton fleece hoodies ($350) to a bomber jacket ($975) with patches featuring quotes from “Reasonable Doubt,” the hiphop mogul’s certified platinum debut album.
According to the designers, the relatively high prices—they range from $235 to $4,000—reflect how the pieces were all handmade in America. Individual items were cut, sewn, distressed and aged by workers in Los Angeles, where MadeWorn is based. Though that adds to the cost, the decades-long loyalty Jay-Z has built with now-affluent fans that grew up with him may make that less of a sticking point.
“This is a very intelligently executed collaboration,” says Sara DiMedio, a fashion stylist who’s worked with Jennifer Connelly and Julianne Moore. DiMedio thinks that going exclusive at Barney’s, the New York-based luxury department store, is a smart move since the collaboration is targeting the nostalgia of 90s-era teenagers that like Jay-Z, have become trendy tastemakers with relatively fat wallets.“It is on brand for everyone involved and consists of covetable, wearable pieces,” she says.
“They are buying a personal history that has formed their identity and can present it by wearing it,” says Marilyn Cohen, an assistant professor at Parsons School of Design. “It demonstrates their involvement with music as meaningful to who they are and have become.”
Or as the 21 Grammy Award-winning rap legend puts it: “This capsule celebrates a time when we were dreamers. It captures that time brilliantly.”
Indeed, Jay-Z’s past partnerships with Barney’s have been highly lucrative, if controversial. In 2013, the two parties created a streetwear collection that reportedly raised about $1 million for the Shawn Carter Foundation. The department store came under fire for allegedly racially profiling African-American customers and Jay-Z responded in his own way: with a rap.
The capsule builds off an apparel line launched last year by Roc96, which is run by Mr. Beyoncé Knowles, Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Kareem “Biggs” Burke and Jay-Z’s longtime friend Emory Jones. “This collaboration for me is honoring the past while I’m celebrating the present and building the future,” Burke said in a statement, calling the tie up with MadeWorn a “perfect marriage of luxury and edge.”
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