Byline: Julee Greenberg

NEW YORK — After showing a strong presence in the young men’s market, Rocawear is about to make its mark on teen girls.
Parent company Roc-A-Fella Enterprises has grown to a multimillion dollar firm in just six years. First with Roc-A-Fella Records, chief executive officer Damon Dash and his partner, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, launched a number of successful rap artists including DJ Clue and Beanie Sigel. Roc-A-Fella Films also released a few movies based on urban life.
In 1999, after launching Rocawear, a denim-based men’s wear collection, the company branched into other categories, such as children’s wear and accessories, and is now entering the junior zone.
The new line follows the attitude of the men’s line, with a relaxed and comfortable mood created by velour, fleece and terry cloth jogging suits, as well as denim and T-shirts. Colors are heather gray, red, navy, black, white and pink, with the occasional shiny logo on a T-shirt.
“If a girl is looking for something sexy, I don’t expect her to buy Rocawear. This line is thugish, but cute,” said Dash, noting that he and Jay-Z work closely with the designers of the line. “I also don’t expect a guy who is looking for a business suit to buy Rocawear.”
Already seeing product placement of the brand in movies and worn by performers and actors, Rocawear also utilizes trade and consumer print, and radio advertising. Future ad campaigns will include billboards and buses, as well. also is currently used to advertise the product and process sales. Rocawear’s volume now stands at $100 million annually.
Unlike the men’s line, which is produced in house, the girl’s line is licensed to the Nesi Apparel Group. Set to hit stores in January for early spring selling, Vincent Nesi, creative director of Rocawear juniors, said distribution will be national and sales are expected to reach $20 million in the first year.
“After seeing a great response from the items we tested in a few stores, I think we are ready for this launch,” Nesi said.
The collection wholesales from $13.50 for a T-shirt to $75 for a velour suit.
“We really want the kids to be able to afford the items on the line,” he stressed.
Down the road, Nesi said sporty dresses and jumpsuits will be added, as well as more accessories.