News: Jay-Z Cleans Up The Roc, "We Don't Envision Ourselves As An Urban Or Streetwear Brand"

Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 10:11AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Rap mogul Jay-Z has opened up about the image of his Rocawear clothing line and why contrary to popular belief, the company does not specifically represent an urban brand.

Set to launch a new campaign today, Young Hov cleared up any misconceptions consumers may have.

"We are a great American brand," he explained. "We don't envision ourselves as an urban brand or streetwear brand. We wanted to show people how we've evolved and repositioned ourselves, without abandoning our original DNA. It's all walks of life. When I played the Glastonbury music festival people said a hip-hop artist couldn't play a rock festival. But culture isn't segmented like that any more. There's so much cross-pollinization and the same thing is true for clothes." (Necole Bitchie)

According to reports, Jay's new campaign will feature nearly 40 Rocawear-themed videos scattered online.

The brand will seed the web with 37 short videos featuring an eclectic mix of musicians, poets, artists, and of course a troupe of double-dutchers. This new move is supposed to shift the label from urban to mainstream, touching people from all backgrounds. Further, on Monday Rocawear will open a pop-up shop at 201 Mulberry Street in Manhattan's NoLIta neighborhood. Rather than sell merchandise, the space will serve as a brand showcase and the company is inviting celebrities, bloggers, radio personalities and students to come in and tape testimonials on their impressions of the brand. (Eurweb)

To celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2009, Jay recruited Spike Lee to shoot Rocawear advertisements.

"The commercial is about Rocawear, what we meant to the culture and the aspiration to maintain and be around for 10 years," Jay revealed in an interview. "So this guy, he's in advertisement, and he's in Rocawear, and he goes through the day as if he's Jay-Z. He looks out the window, in his mind -- because he's aspiring to make his own Rocawear -- there's a group of people outside and they're waving to him. As he walks away, reality sets in. Someone looks out the window, and no one's out there. He gets on the elevator, and he's thinking people are asking him for autographs; no one's there. He's on his way to building his empire, but he has Rocawear on, and that's a start. So he feels as if he's successful already...Spike Lee is one of the most important directors of our time...He gave us a voice and perspective in Do the Right Thing that touched on racial relations in Brooklyn and all these movies we grew up on that were so important to our growth." (MTV)

He previously credited ex-business associate Dame Dash for inspiring him and helping mold Rocawear.

"Dame did a great job when he was here," Hov said in an interview. "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...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." (Women's Wear Daily)

Check out some past Rocawear footage below:

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