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FUBU Founders Talk About Racism In The Fashion Industry

FUBU is gearing up for a comeback. 

The urban sportswear company, which was founded by a group of friends from Queens, New York, started in the early 1990s. 

The friends- including “Shark Tank” panelist Daymond John, Keith Perrin, J. Alexander Martin, and Carl Brown have just released their first new in-house designs in seven years in a partnership with Century 21. 

The resurgence of the 90s influenced streetwear has hit a peak with sportswear lines like FUBU, Champion and Fila regaining their popularity. 

The authenticity of brands like FUBU lies in their connection to the streets of Queens, NY and their authentic relationships with Hip Hop music and artists. 

“The ’90s were so impactful as far as hip-hop goes, and as far as commercializing hip-hop,” Brown told Page Six Style at the collection’s recent launch event at Century 21. “Kids now look back at what their parents would wear, so it started as a throwback thing and that novelty has caught on where they want it to be a staple again.”

Now that the streetwear trend is a huge hit with consumers of all ages and races, it’s clear enough to luxury brands like Gucci and Prada, and they are releasing their own modifications — and occasionally landing themselves in hot water, with accusations of blackface and racist imagery becoming regular news in the fashion industry.

According to John, it’s very possible that these brands are purposely adding pieces to create controversy and make customers run out to buy the shocking pieces. However, the “Shark Tank” star believes that it’s more likely that ignorance and a severe lack of diversity on staff could be to blame for these very public missteps by these major fashion brands. 

“It’s hard to know if these people have bad intent,” he said. 

John recalled the early pushback FUBU received when consumers misinterpreted their “For Us By Us” ideology as non-inclusive. 

“Remember how much flak we got when people thought we were only for black people?” he asked the group. “But we weren’t. We came out and said, ‘Who’s ever going to respect and value the hip-hop culture?’ Because we heard all these brands didn’t respect rappers or African-Americans. We weren’t going to be prejudiced like we thought other people were.”

The brand FUBU was as diverse as Hip -Hop itself. 

And their newest collect reflects that as well, they feature ten styles that are priced between $29 for a T-shirt and $50 for a sweatshirt.

The pieces in this exclusive partnership shout out different boroughs in NYC, and various sports teams, celebrating both brands deep city roots. 

The line is available at the Downtown Manhattan store location and online only and for a limited time, while supplies last, bearing the tag line, “can’t resist a classic.”

Fubu Makes a come back

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