Rocawear may be dying. The clothing company founded by rapper Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter and Damon Dash in 1999 — and sold to Iconix for a whopping $200-plus million in 2007, has just laid off 28 of its 56 staffers. According to the New York Post:
Jay-Z, formerly a “big presence” in the office, rarely shows up anymore, an insider told The Post. “It’s kind of like he’s given up on the brand,” the source added.
In 2007, as the market for urban-style clothing was peaking, the rap tycoon sold the Rocawear brand for $204 million in cash to Iconix Group, a licensing company that also owns brands such as Candie’s, Ed Hardy and Peanuts.
While Jay-Z retained an interest in Rocawear as part of the deal, his contractual obligations to the brand have expired and the rapper has since refused to promote it amid steady, double-digit sales drops, sources said.
“Jay-Z doesn’t do anything without getting paid a lot of money — a lot more than Rocawear is generating,” according to one insider.