Rob Gough wants to take Dope to the next level.
The entrepreneur has acquired the Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, which was started by Matt Fields in 2007, and hopes to double the business within a year. He believes it has the potential to be a billion dollar company.
“I’m friends with a lot of people who work in streetwear and everyone had great things to say about the brand,” said Gough, who wouldn’t reveal the cost of acquisition, which was a cash deal. “I see a lot of opportunities.”
For Gough, those opportunities include expanding on the Dope Sport line and launching smoke products including bongs, rolling papers, lighters and grinders under the name Dope Smoke. Gough is also interested in the women’s space and just signed a deal with Sommer Ray, a model with a large following on Instagram. Rae will create a capsule collection for Dope that will include intimate apparel, swim and activewear.
Gough also sees the Dope e-commerce site as an area for growth — he said it hadn’t been a priority for the company previously — along with its store on Fairfax Avenue in Los Angeles. Dope is sold at specialty retailers including Foot Locker, Downtown Locker Room and Foot Action.
This is Gough’s first time investing in an apparel brand. He’s best known for cofounding Eckim, a performance marketing company, in 2009, which he sold in 2012. When he was involved in Eckim he helped build up Finish Line’s e-commerce platform. He also started, and later sold, Bidaroo, an online auction site, and operates Newell May Capital, a Los Angeles-based venture capital fund.
Over the last year he tried his hand at acting. He’s set to appear in “Mom and Dad,” a film starring Nicolas Cage; “The Forgiven,” which will star Forest Whitaker, and “Billionaire Boys Club,” which will feature Kevin Spacey and Emma Roberts.
“I think when you are young everybody dreams of being an actor, but I didn’t have the backing of a family to do whatever I wanted once I graduated college,” Gough said. “I had to grind to make money and the producers have liked my performances.”
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