News: Russell Simmons Competes W/ LL Cool J, Launches Affordable Clothing Line At Wal-Mart

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009 9:48AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Hip-Hop mogul Russell Simmons has announced plans to launch a new clothing line, American Classics, at Wal-Mart retail stores nationwide aiming to offer quality clothing at affordable prices.

Simmons will gear his new line towards young to middle-aged men.

[Russell] says his new focus is the "urban graduate," whom he describes as 25-to-50-year-old men such as Will Smith, Adam Sandler and Barack Obama, who grew up with hip-hop clothes but as professionals can no longer don baggy pants and shirts sporting oversize logos. American Classics' first season has a heavy focus on purple, navy, and white and includes jeans, sweater vests, casual sports shoes, and woven and knit shirts. (Business Week)

The Def Jam co-founder's clothing apparrel will be made available both in-stores and online.

American Classics will launch in the next few weeks at 350 Wal-Mart stores, or about 10 percent of the store base nationwide, and on walmart.com, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman confirmed Monday (February 16). A search on walmart.com reveals the line appears mainstream, even preppy, with plaid shorts, button-down shirts, zip cargo pants and a cable sweater vest. The prices range from a $9 T-shirt to a $29 hooded jacket. (Chicago Sun Times)

Offering clothing at an affordable price, Simmons will go head-to-head against LL Cool J who launched his own brand last fall.

Sears Holdings is partnering with hip-hop star LL Cool J to launch a line of clothing and accessories in the company's stores this fall. The apparel for children, teen girls and young men will initially be stocked in 450 Sears stores in mid-September. The retailer says it hopes to expand the collection to more of Sears' 2,400 stores by the end of the year. (USA Today)

Simmons has held success as a clothing executive with brands including Phat Farm.

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, best known for his record label, Def Jam, founded the Phat Farm clothing line in 1992, with the label's first retail store opening on Prince Street a year later. Simmons's designs are derived from the styles of the street: Baggy jeans, sweaters with the company logo writ large, and hooded sweatshirts are in abundance, as are urban accessories like nylon backpacks, baseball hats, and old-school sneakers. (NY Magazine)

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