*Wu-Tang Clan’s Robert Diggs (RZA) and Oliver Grant (Power) are teaming up with Live Nation Merchandise for a relaunch of the group’s clothing line Wu Wear, reports Billboard.
When launched in 1995, Wu Wear was among hip-hop’s first clothing lines and was sold at major retailers like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s until being discontinued in 2008.
Nearly a decade later and nearing the 25th anniversary of the release of the group’s iconic 1993 album “Enter The Wu-Tang Clan: 36 Chambers,” RZA and Power are revisiting the brand with new designs and high-end items for 2017
“Wu Wear was the first hip-hop brand to be in the windows on Macy’s 34th St.,” RZA tells Billboard. “Now that we are aware and re-energized for our legacy, we felt it was the proper time to reenter the market. Not in a boutique way, but to go big, once again.”
Grant said the relaunch is partly to fight off counterfeit versions of the group’s W logo popping up at flea markets, bodegas and online retailers like eBay and Amazon.
“Thirst is everything, image is nothing,” Grant added. “Yesterday in Little Italy there’s a guy right in the middle of the block with a whole shirt stand. All type of shirts and the biggest one in the middle was what? The Wu-Tang shirt. I’m like, ‘Yo, who is this guy paying?’”
The collection debuted this week during Agenda in Las Vegas, Nevada (Aug. 14-16) with pieces available shipping to retail in October for the 2017 holiday season, as well as select pop-up locations. A spring 2018 launch will incorporate printables as well as fashion knits, jackets, wovens, bottoms and accessories.
“We have the foundation team here that understands what made the brand become iconic. We also have a team of people who have joined us,” RZA tells Billboard. “We have a well of expression to pull from and understand fashion nuances. Maybe the young guy is looking for the basic crew neck. But yet, the Miami guy, he’s looking for more the no collar neck to get more of the shoulder blades into it. We are conscious of all this. You’ll see all those elements of fashion apply to our line.”
He added that the designs incorporate the group’s albums and tracks including an item dedicated to the 1993 “Can It Be So Simple” video.
“That goes back to the idea of Wu-Tang always being in the community. Always striving. And also, reflecting back to how simple life was when you were just a kid on a bike, popping a wheelie,” RZA explains.
“Our forecast for the future is that we have some very unique product,” RZA says. “Some things you’re going to be happy to see back in the market. Some things you’re going to go, ‘Whoa! I was waiting for something like that!’ It’s gonna be so cool, yo!”
View pieces from the relaunch below: