FUBU (For Us By Us), a sportswear brand of the 90’s has faded over the years. In 1992, Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin and Carlton Brown unofficially built the fashion empire known as FUBU. The company started as a venture of hat seller on the street of Queens, but slowly grew into a huge one. They soon expanded their business with FUBU logo on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Over the last 25 years since launching, FUBU had spread to over 5,000 stores with its collections, earning more than $6 billion-dollar sale of its apparels. But its hype has slowly reduced.
Daymond John, the founder, president and CEO of FUBU and one of the “Sharks” on ABC’s reality show “Shark Tank”, now believes in the power of reinvention, saying, it’s time for his brand to be reborn. And, with the recent return and growth of 90’s brands like FILA, Champion and Guess, FUBU is expecting a comeback.
In October, FUBU will relaunch itself in the U.S. as FB legacy. Its goal will be: “trend is short, style is forever.” Presently, it will include men’s and women’s sportswear, but will soon expand to include footwear, boys wear, suits and tuxedos.
Daymond was raised in the Hollis neighbourhood of Queens, New York. He belonged to a poor family. So, John saw fashion as a means to make money. On 24th March 1989, John hit the street in Queens with his first batch of tie-top, wool beanies. By the end of the day, he had sold out the hats earning a $800 USD profit. During his off hours, John would hit music video sets trying to cajole the rappers to wear FUBU apparels in the shoot. This step ultimately paid off as the fans saw their favourite stars wearing FUBU clothing. After an appearance at a trade show in Las Vegas, he and his partners- J. Alexander Martin, Carl Brown and Keith Perrin sold around $400,000 USD worth of clothes.
Daymond’s recent collaboration with Urban Outfitters occurred as FUBU’s creative director Willie Escobar reached out to them. Willie has his own brand and is the real person behind Daymond’s FUBU brand, Coogie Brand and all the other collaborations. Daymond is expecting future collaborations with Puma, Ebbets Field Fannels, and Mitchell & Ness in 2018. When FUBU was launched, it was a pioneer in an undeserved market. It became a point of pride for the African Americans. But, he somehow feels that his community never received the acknowledgement it deserved for a long period of time. Though, he always had some guiding principles, the favourite one being: “I do today what people won’t, so I achieve tomorrow what other people can’t. Last January, he returned to that same corner of 42nd Street where he restarted the button that controls $40 billion worth of daily trade. And, he credits his discipline, focus and drive as an inheritance from his mother.
“I always used my access and knowledge for my own well-being, but since Shark Tank, I’m considering partnering with agencies and offering myself to corporations under what I will call ‘Shark Branding’. I want to help them talk to our culture, to see if I can change how companies handle our culture, make them some money, that hopefully they will give back portion to the community. Ultimately, I want to be a blessing to others” says Daymond John.