Wu Wear is officially back.Wu-Tang Clan's apparel line, one of the first created by hip-hop artists, will reenter the market and is showing at the Agenda trade show in Las Vegas this week."We never stopped producing it. We just took a more underground, boutique approach to try and figure out the new business," said Oliver Grant, who started the line in 1995. "Now we know the lay of the land and how to attack it again."Grant and Robert Diggs, best known as RZA, who founded the rap group, have teamed up with Live Nation Merchandise to produce the collection. They will create a capsule line for holiday and release a full fashion assortment for spring 2018, which will mark Wu-Tang's 25th anniversary."Our brand is at a legacy level," asserted Diggs. "I think about Bill Blass, Lee or Calvin Klein and they were new at one point and became legacy brands. We have an opportunity for our brand to stand alongside Tommy Hilfiger. We are happy Live Nation recognized that and is helping us put the brand out there."The unisex collection will retail from $35 to $160 and include older designs and new pieces. The assortment, which will be designed by a team at Live Nation with help from Diggs and Grant, will include T-shirts, sweatshirts, anoraks and hats. It will expand to fashion knits, jackets, wovens, bottoms and accessories. Live Nation is working on a few exclusive distribution deals. Grant and Diggs said they are hoping to open a flagship in Los Angeles and balance seasonal collections with limited-edition drops.At its height, Wu Wear was sold in major department stores and operated four stores in New York, Philadelphia, Norfolk, Virginia and Atlanta. In 1999, it collaborated with Nike on a pair of highly sought-after Dunks and in 2007 produced a line with streetwear brand Alife.Although Wu Wear vacated the retail market in 2008, because of Wu-Tang's global popularity, its W logo has remained omnipresent, popping up, sometimes illegally, on apparel. Earlier this year, two designers from Germany announced a Wu Wear comeback, but according to Diggs and Grant, Wu-Tang had nothing to do with that."Music has the power to inspire people and when you become a fan of a band, you become a part of that band. And a lot of people are spiritually motivated by us. They have the tattoos on their body and make shirts for their children," said Diggs. "They are a part of us, but they aren't a part of the business and that's when the lines get blurred. There is a Wu-Tang trademark and copyright."More from WWD:Can Urban Streetwear Brands Make a Resurgence?Fubu Partners with Urban OutfittersNas Partners With The Thread Shop
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa's “I-did-it-my-way” ethos stood out starkly at a time when brands are experimenting with consumer-facing fashion shows, coed formats and trans-seasonal collections – anything to perk up lackluster sales of ready-to-wear in an age of Insta-everything. “It’s not creation anymore. This becomes a purely industrial approach,” the late designer told WWD in an interview last year. “But anyway, the rhythm of collections is so stupid. It’s unsustainable. There are too many collections.” Read more about the iconic designer’s life and work on wwd.com, link in bio. #wwdfashion #azzedinealaia (📷: @WWD Archive, 1986) #alaia
Sneaker reselling app @goat’s latest exhibit, "The Greatest: New York," tells the story of New York's sneaker culture. To celebrate the exhibit, an intimate crowd gathered on Thursday night at the pop-up gallery space, located at Platform in Culver City, to hear guest speaker and illustrator @esymai talk about her own rise in streetwear and women in the business. "For me I'm just someone who is creative. I like to create things," said Chang. #wwdfashion
Azzedine Alaïa, one of the most iconic couturiers of the modern era whose body-con designs defined Eighties fashion, has died in Paris. The diminutive Tunisian-born designer, known for his structured knitted dresses with fitted waists and impeccably cut, figure-hugging second skin silhouettes was deeply admired by his peers, and counted supermodel Naomi Campbell - his adoptive daughter - among his inner circle, one of a gang of glamazons including Farida Khelfa, Carla Bruni and Stephanie Seymour who became ambassadors of his style. (📷: Alexandre Guirkinger) #wwdblast