By George Anderson
It’s not unusual for entertainment and cultural trends to start in inner city neighborhoods and then expand to suburbia. So, the fact that everything hip-hop, from the music to clothing and accessories, would find a ready and willing-to-spend consumer base outside of city limits.
This is especially true in apparel where performers such as Sean “Diddy” Combs, Russell Simmons and Eminem have come out with clothing lines of their own.
Mr. Combs’ Sean John clothing and fragrance line is sold in stores including Nordstrom and Macy’s.
Today, teens and young adults are buying urban fashions to the tune of $2.2 billion a year, according to the NPD Group.
“There’s an awful lot of energy channeling the suburban guy and girl to want to be like what they see in music videos and movies,” Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the NPD Group, told The Detroit News. “The market is not going away.”
Further evidence of the growing popularity and staying power of hip-hop fashion is Wal-Mart’s plan to roll out its Exsto line of urban apparel for men in 300 stores this summers.
The reason is simple, said Andy Barron, senior vice president and general merchandise manager of men’s apparel for Wal-Mart. “With the addition of Exsto, we can better serve a distinct segment of our customer base by offering a true young men’s brand with a sense of urban flair. Exsto mirrors the design and quality of urban brands offered in department stores at the excellent value customers expect from Wal-Mart.”
Moderator’s Comment: Will the apparel business fall as quickly as the music end of the business should younger consumers begin listening to other artists
and musical styles instead of hip-hop? What do you see as the do’s and don’ts of retailers looking to cash in on all things hip-hop? –
George Anderson – Moderator