FUBU was a clothing line founded in 1992 by Daymond John, J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, and Carlton Brown– beginning with hats made in John’s house in Hollis, New York.
It’s reported that John mortgaged that house for $100,000, and turned it into a factory to launch his line.
At its peak in 1998, FUBU grossed over $350 million in annual worldwide sales, but by 2009, annual revenue of the company was down to around $200 million.
As of today, Fubu’s webpage shows a red ball cap with the words “FubuCollection” above it and “Coming Soon” below it. The website, and apparently the company, is a work in progress and it’s anyone’s guess if the brand will ever relaunch.
But FUBU fans, don’t despair, because now we have another clothing line, FUBAR. You know the term FUBAR, an acronym coined by U.S. soldiers in World War II for “Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition.”
Actually, that’s not the name of the clothing line. I don’t want to denigrate the memory of our proud soldiers who gave their lives for our country by associating FUBAR too closely with Kanye West’s fucked up clothing line, Yeezy.
Tyson Beckford (left), Daymond John (middle), LL Cool J (right)
But in keeping with the military theme at Yeezy Season 2’s opening, a drill sergeant-type shouted — “First row!” — and a line of models marched out, followed by a second, then a third, all wrapped in tights or leggings (puttees from WWI?) or stretchy shorts and tops. “Left, right! Left, right,” barked the drill sergeant. The first group marched off and another came out, now dressed in really sad fatigue jackets and pants – the clothes matched by their expressions. Some thought they looked like Prisoners of War. Can anyone take this guy seriously as a clothing designer? Apparently there are enough star struck or desperate (or both) people out there who think he’s got something.
Cathy Horyn — fashion critic for The New York Times until 2014, penning the must-read blog, “On The Runway”, and now writing for New York Magazine’s The Cut — trashed West’s latest collection instead of only mildly criticizing it as she’d done the first year, when she wrote that the fashion world was too infatuated with Kanye, and that a Stockholm Syndrome-like effect was keeping critics from properly and objectively looking at his creations—and criticizing him.
But this year, she took the gloves off, stating: “This second round of drab, broken-down basics proved he can’t be taken seriously as a designer, but nevertheless many people in fashion do seem to take West seriously — they keep showing up expectantly for his performances — and that makes them fools,” she wrote, after claiming the models looked like POWs in Spanx.
And Cathy wasn’t alone. Creator of Fashion Week, Fern Mallis, stated: “I’m kind of over Kanye,” she said. “I mean, I’m not a fan of his music, and the attitude and the agenda is not my style. I’m over the frenzy that accompanies everything. I did not see the collection. I wasn’t invited to the show and if he wants to design and do something, that’s great. The industry will respond accordingly. But there’s an attitude . . . it’s the aura that baffles me.
After he read Fern Mallis’s comments, Kanye fired back in a series of bizarre tweets:
“To Fern Mallis: I just want you to understand that attempting to do clothing has been very difficult”
“and I have encountered countless amounts of bigotry along the way.”
“I have millions of ideas and I represent a new generation just trying to express themselves in a broken world.”
“If you wanna have a drink with me, book a table at the spotted pig when I’m back in NY.”
Bigotry? Then why did rapper Ice-T, in a recent Tweet, tear Kanye a new one after seeing Yeezy 2?
“Kanye’s fashion show stuff looks like future Slave gear to me… Just sayin.”
It’s really too bad that Kanye didn’t launch FUBAR, (I mean Yeezy,) from the ground up, like Daymond John did – risking the roof over his head for something he believed in. Daymond knew he was a nobody — but a nobody with a dream. People weren’t going to buy his threads because he was Daymond Jones. And he risked everything to make his dream happen. In taking that risk, he knew he had to create clothes that had style, that made a statement, and that made people look cool. As his risk paid off and his business grew, he received two Congressional Awards, two NAACP Awards, the Pratt Institute Award, the Christopher Wallace Award, the Online Hip-Hop Award and a Citation of Honor from the Queens Borough President.
It’s inconceivable that Mr. West will receive any such recognition. It seems he has forgotten what it means to struggle, to risk and to create something people want. He feels people should buy what he designs, because he’s Kanye West. But that idea – the critics are saying, is Fucking Up Beyond All Recognition.
Daymond John explains why Kanye West is having a hard time: