From sewing handmade garments in his mother's basement, to partying at one of his multimillion dollar properties and ringing in the new millennium with international superstar Prince, Daymond John’s climb to the top has been fettered with extreme highs and lows. Yet the fact that he has revolutionized the face of business and entrepreneurship is undeniable.
Many are clueless about the amazing and harrowing story of how Daymond and his three friends – Keith Perrin, J. Alexander Martin, and Carl Brown – went from selling hats out of Daymond’s basement in Hollis, Queens, to building fashion empire with an estimated $400 million turn over. Heralded as “the Godfather of urban fashion,” Daymond’s marketing expertise and vision paved the way for many of today’s top-selling apparel businesses.
Since FUBU’s launch in 1992, black business ownership has increased tenfold. Entrepreneurship is now recognized as an MBA concentration at some of America’s top business schools, and the world’s largest corporations have African American senior executives. This may seem Commonplace now, but Daymond’s arrival on the scene stirred a more public presence of minority ownership, while inspiring a new generation of power players, and challenging corporate America to match his $4 billion in retail sales.
Team FUBU is the pioneer of blending clothing and music videos, celebrities and artists in music videos, TV shows and movies long before other major brands thought to do so. From American Express to Lincoln to Hewlett Packard, everybody has jumped on the celebrity endorsement, guerrilla marketing and product placement bandwagon. It was FUBU who first made this strategy mainstream. The black and red logo, the LL Cool J ads, and the “For Us By Us” acronym have all a vital part of popular culture as well as marketing and branding history.
In the past 16 years, FUBU the Collection has consistently been ranked in Crain’s top five list of top selling minority owned businesses in New York City. As of July 2008, FUBU is New York City’s Bestselling Black owned enterprise, outselling Sean “Puffy” Combs’ Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group by an estimated $70 million in 2006.
FUBU is wildly successful overseas with over 60 stores internationally and one of the bestselling brands in both France and Korea. The FUBU movement has also infiltrated China where approximately 150 FUBU stores will be opened by the end of 2008. Most recently, Turkey has become the newest country to join the FUBU international family while several stores have opened in Milan, Italy in the last few months.