Sorry for the delay on this series. The crew opted to keep our memories rosy for a spell.. We’ve got a show to run, though.
Clothing brands came and went at a furious pace the ’90s. Yet few had the mass appeal of For Us By Us, bka FUBU. The iconic logo, slick marketing and celebrity co-signs made it the hottest brand for “urban youth” and later trickled out into the suburbs.
Plus, witnessing a multimillion-dollar clothing company run by Daymond John, Keith Perrin, Alexander Martin and Carl Brown, all black men, increased its allure. This distinction, along with the “For Us By Us” moniker, symbolized black entrepreneurship in a monumental way. We crack jokes about FUBU’s fall from grace. At the same time we haven’t seen an urban label of its magnitude emerge since.
So where did my appeal for FUBU pset in? The fascination set somewhere between actually liking the designs and a dash of seeking acceptance from my peers. Thankfully, I didn’t approve everything they put out.The shame of seeing my 13-year-old self in one of those see-through jerseys would be too much to bear today.
My folks didn’t shell out a ton on FUBU clothing based on principle. The sh*t was too damn expensive and they thought its baggy, “street” stylings made me look like a hoodlum. Naturally, parental concern came across as hate to an adolescent. A number of first-world arguments over the wearing the clothes went down. However, I donned my few seaters, shirts and jeans with pride…until FUBU got played out by the turn of the century.
Everyone had it by then and, when a brand loses its exclusivity, it’s curtains for its “cool” factor. FUBU grew from a multmillion to an international, multibillion-dollar company since then with Daymond still serving as its CEO. The business evidently grew tremendously, which is kind of the point of maintaining an enterprise, but the designs haven’t.
Still, FUBU was a HUGE product of its era and, in its prime, I can’t front like I was above wearing it. Many look back at its lineup and scoff at the thought of being associated with it. So now’s your chance to tell the truth about owning some FUBU pieces or a whole closet’s worth. The brand’s current image as Burlington Coat Factory bamma wear didn’t come without its initial admirers. Besides, we know more than a few of you at least bought a FUBU Flex hat.