In an interview with WWD, the hip-hop mogul said he has sold his 25 percent stake in the company for $30 million and is now in the midst of what he calls his "evolution." Simply stated, Dash said Rocawear is no longer reflective of who he is.
Instead, his focus has shifted to the companies he has retained: the contemporary line Rachel Roy; the Damon Dash Collection, a men's wear line; State Property, a men's sportswear line; Team Roc, a collection of athletic apparel, and the license for the footwear line, Pro Keds.
"In the past five years, I've learned so much and made so much money that I don't feel any animosity. We've all prospered," Dash, 34, said of his partners, hip-hop star Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter and Russian investors Alex Bize and Norton Cher of the Comet Group, a clothing manufacturer. Dash said the current wholesale volume of Rocawear is $350 million, with about $230 million coming from Rocawear's women's apparel sales.
Dressed in a navy blue suit from the Damon Dash Collection, he sat in his soon-to-be-vacated corner office at 1411 Broadway here and spoke matter-of-factly of why he wanted to sell and how he knew the timing was right.
"I feel like my partners don't understand what I'm trying to represent. We were getting a bit too demographic," Dash said. "I also think my partners, but not Jay — he wasn't really active as far as the business went — were thinking I was using Rocawear to fund my lifestyle. I think they felt like I was using Rocawear money to fund everything else I was doing when, in actuality, I was funding other companies, like America magazine, out of my own pocket," he said, citing the luxury magazine he launched last year.
The 25 percent of the company Dash owned was sold to the remaining partners. "They got a loan to buy me out. I think we constructed a creative deal and we're all happy," he said.
"At least," he added, "I hope we're all happy. I don't know what they're going to do with my 25 percent, but I don't even care. Just give me my money."
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