Epochal NYC sportswear brand FUBU, known for introducing streetwear into the Mainstream, in the ’90s, has made a splashy comeback. FUBU has collaborated with Century 21 in NYC to celebrate the brand’s 25th anniversary and to launch their newest exclusive capsule collection, “Can’t Resist A Classic.” Century 21 is a legendary NYC retailer that services millions of tourists and locals. They offer high-end, off-price fashion ranging from menswear, women’s fashion, children’s apparel, lingerie, accessories, and beauty. The retail giant is headquartered in Downtown Manhattan with additional locations in New York Lincoln Square, Brooklyn, Queens, Younkers, Long Island and now Staten Island. Michael Wolkoff, CMO of Century 21 states, “Century 21 is so excited to be a part of this next chapter in the FUBU brand story. It is our passion to bring our loyal shoppers access to the iconic brands they love and this capsule definitely fits the bill. We can’t wait for the original fans of the brand to line up as well as the next generation of shoppers to discover it in our stores.”
On March 1st the 10-piece Capsule collection was unveiled to the public for the first time. The goal of this collaborative launch was to revitalize the brand, reaching a new and younger demographic by staying true to the brand’s value. FUBU transformed its classic collection by creating pieces that really captured the hearts of the younger generation. FUBU, known as For Us, By Us, was founded by four brilliant and highly respected entrepreneurs, Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, and Carl Brown, who all had the audacious vision to bring something into the marketplace that was never before seen. Founded in 1992, the story of FUBU started with four friends, from a shoestring budget of $40 to a now whopping $6 billion fashion empire. Vice President of FUBU, Keith Perrin states, “We were in over 5,000 doors globally in the ’90s and today we are taking the E-commerce business model route and collaborating with strategic partners is a natural fit. When the idea came up about reemerging our brand, we felt Century 21’s downtown location was the best fit- if you’re developing a relationship with a brick-and-mortar store you couldn’t ask for a better partner to reach diverse consumers. Century 21 has always been the place to find premium clothes at a good price. Century 21 is just a great overall retail partner.”
The brand continuously spearheads many initiatives that shake the way we view streetwear by being the voice of the community. One of FUBU’s newest projects includes releasing bulletproof backpacks for children. In America, the massive increase in school shootings has pushed many in the community to find solutions to save our children. Daymond John who’s not only known for his role on Shark Tank but also as one of the founders of FUBU recently stated, “ If the government isn’t going to find ways to save our kids then I’m going to have to buy a book bag for my children to be a little more protected than what’s out there. We always have tried to be the voice of the kids and the voice of the community.”
So what’s the next big thing we can expect to see from FUBU? Daymond hinted at the possibility of more collaborations, eyewear, watches, suits and more. While co-founder J. Alexander Martin says, “because we do things from the heart and from the soul; from the point of the culture. We feel the need and the breadth of how the culture moves and what it wants. We’re giving back to the culture giving them what they want. Going forward we’ll have new products coming in. We have a number of licensing deals, loungewear … we also have radio, hotels, and more. FUBU is a lifestyle synonymous with the culture of hip hop.”
It’s more prevalent than ever that brands today are listening to what consumers want. They’re making serious strides to be part of a community, solving problems and really being exemplary pillars not just in society as a whole but also in business as seen with the FUBU brand and its initiatives. The rebirth of a classic is truly one that we can’t resist; it brings back nostalgic memories for those who grew up with FUBU and a sense of newness for those who are just being minted to an iconic brand and its story. We’ll just have to stay tuned to see how this classic sportswear brand will continue to reinvent itself in a marketplace that is competitively ever changing.