Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA has hinted at plans to possibly invade the retail fashion world once again with a revival of Wu Wear heading into 2012.
If all goes accordingly, RZA said he could see himself getting back into fashion designing.
“Funny you ask. We’ve actually been talking about [that] – my brother Oli Grant has been talking about reviving it sometime soon, and I will leave it up to him to make that choice. I definitely used to be really involved with it, down to some of the more subtle style decisions. I was the one who introduced the drawstrings on our pants, since I personally could never find a belt to wear and wanted to create options around that. And I have some new ideas about how to dress skinny guys like myself. We’ll see where it all goes.” (Rolling Stone)
Earlier this fall, RZA’s Wu business associate Oil “Power” Grant discussed launching Wu Wear.
“Well, you know, at the end of the day, we are all interested in fashion. Initially, when we started doing the music, my interests just came from trying to figure out a way to diversify what we was doing, based on the fact that you know, I wasn’t a rapper or a producer or anything like that. Through playing around with just fitting the guys for videos and all of that, and always being a kid that was into fashion — the Polo’s, the Tommy Hil’s, and all of that stuff that came before. It just made me want to try to expand out and make another avenue for what we was doing. Give it a little oomph, and that was it.” (Complex)
Wu Wear is reportedly responsible for inspiring the launch of clothing brands by rap stars like 50 Cent, Nelly and Busta Rhymes.
1995 also saw the release of the Wu Wear clothing line, which would turn out to be massively successful, and influential on hip hop culture. It initially started as a mere way to make money from the demand for bootleg Wu-Tang Clan shirts, and evolved into an extensive collection of designer garments. Soon, other hip hop artists were making similar ventures and by the mid 2000s, a clothing line was almost a prerequisite for hip hop superstardom, with clothing lines launched by Puff Daddy, Jay-Z, Busta Rhymes, Nelly, Ludacris, 50 Cent, and more. (Wikipedia)
Along with clothing and movies, RZA has also launched his own iPhone/iPad application.
“This is RZA’s first official electronica blueprint. All things RZA are in this app,” Charisma Apps COO Stephen Gluck told SOHH. “This is truly unique window into his mind. We really put a lot of time into putting this together. This will give true Wu-Tang Clan fans a really interesting picture as to what this very intelligent man has accomplished since his Wu-Tang days. It goes into scores he’s written, his work with director Quentin Tarantino on the Kill Bill movies, him doing exclusive features for other artists and acting. There is no official RZA website, so he is using the app to keep fans updated.” (SOHH 5 Reasons Why)
Check out some recent RZA footage below: