Fubu is making a play for the younger market.
The streetwear brand, which was cofounded by Daymond John in 1992, will celebrate its 25th anniversary by releasing a capsule collection with Urban Outfitters.
Fubu’s creative director, streetwear veteran Willie Esco, said the partnership isn’t considered a relaunch since the brand, which is still owned by John and Samsung, has never completely left the market. But this move is a way to introduce the line to the Millennial consumer who might have missed the landmark Gap commercial in 1999 featuring L.L. Cool J wearing a Fubu hat. According to Esco, John was initially hesitant about targeting that Millennial customer but eventually came around to the idea.
“I just didn’t know if the younger customer would understand or respect our value,” said John, who is now a regular judge on ABC’s hit series “Shark Tank.” “Where do we position it? I noticed the Nineties retro trend is hot, but how do we design it? Do we make it baggy? Do we put new logos on it?”
Esco decided to keep things classic. The unisex collection features Fubu’s two original logos, the FB that resembles the Warner Bros. logo and the embroidered box letters. And because Fubu is known for its football jerseys and athletic pieces, they opted for fleece sweatshirts, hoodies and graphic T-shirts. The collection will be available this week.
Although Fubu continued to produce product, it, like most urban streetwear brands, lost cachet once it shifted its distribution to department stores. Esco said this time around the brand is focusing on direct-to-consumer sales on its e-commerce site, fubu.com, and collaborations such as the one with Urban. Fubu also recently worked with Puma, Ebbets Field and Chalk Line. In 2014, Fubu did a collection with Nubian, a luxury streetwear retailer in Tokyo.
Fubu is one of the first urban streetwear brands to capitalize on the Nineties look that’s trending at retail and Esco believes John’s platform and presence on TV puts the label in a different position.
“He’s a celebrity who’s on TV and reaches millions of people every Friday,” said Esco. “Our connectivity to the consumer is slightly different.”
See More From WWD: