FUBU History + more
The 1990s era gave birth to an explosion of innovative ideas across the retail market. The introduction of Hip Hop into American and international cultures proved so impactful that it opened a long-awaited door in fashion, one amplifying the voice of the street and its battle cry “For Us, By Us” sent shockwaves across the world. In 1992, four young men from Hollis, Queens came up with the idea to make and sell affordable handmade remakes of expensive trendy tie-top hats for extra money creating the FUBU philosophy of making clothing “for the consumer by consumers”. By 1995, an extensive sportswear line was designed and produced by FUBU, using raw materials imported from around the world. To date, over 5,000 stores have carried the FUBU collection and more than $6 billion in merchandise has been sold at retail. The young FUBU founders, Daymond John, Carl Brown, J. Alexander Martin and Keith Perrin, turned their dream into a reality, establishing their
own designs inspired by Hip Hop consumer modifications for style and dancing, thereby founding a movement, legendary in urban cultures globally. This is why FUBU is still relevant nearly 30 years later; FUBU represents the determination, creativity, and boldness of four consumers who had the courage to go against the grain and form FUBU in 1992 and proudly introduce the 2020 FUBU FRAMES Eyewear Collection by Eye Candy Creations USA!
While the company founders have not forgotten their roots, John says that the FUBU brand isn’t strictly for Gen Xers anymore. His reason: “Given our diverse licenses in categories that run the gamut from kid’s apparel to tuxedos and home furnishings, our products appeal to those ranging from five years old to the young at heart. If you’re thinking FUBU is the anti-thesis of “For Us, By Us”, you might want to reconsider that perspective as the brand continues to speak to all consumers setting an example for all entrepreneurs”. Bold, on-trend, and edgy, yet classic enough to celebrate everyday people, FUBU has truly been truly a universal brand leader that appeals to all ages, cultures and backgrounds. Their distinctive definition of the latest trends comes with ease because many of the legendary styles were set by them. FUBU continues to be a vision of freedom and individuality.
FUBU is more than a fashion brand, it is a lifestyle. Inspired by the lives of everyday people innovating for survival, to be heard, FUBU was designed for strong, ambitious, game changers who embrace individual style as a birthright. Combining the latest runway looks with the color trends of the season, FUBU Frames will feature an array of Mazzucchelli Italian acetates, high-end metals, unique constructions and vibrant custom tinted lens all with back-side anti-reflective coatings. We believe that metal accents such as bold double bridges, inlays and brow line details are key to the perfect FUBU Frame. A mix of function and fashion, these new styles all share close focus on comfort, style and resistance. The FUBU Frames launch collection flaunts a range of features, from distinctive design details to contrasting colors, accompanied by dynamic, lightweight designs easily offering custom solutions to complement every face. The FUBU Frames collection will launch with an entire collection of suns & optical frames that will retail from
$149 to $195.
Daymond has come a long way from owning a commuter van service to being the CEO and President of a much celebrated retail Brand.
Daymond oversees the organization’s production flow, which involves dealing with every aspect of FUBU’s structure. “My job is to take Keith Perrin’s, J. Martin’s, and Carl Brown’s ideas and funnel it all together”, says Daymond. FUBU’s marketing strategy is being in tune with what the consumer wants. Daymond is a published author, syndicated columnist, owns several other successful urban brands, is a video producer and “serial entrepreneur”. He has been acknowledged through all walks of American business life as evidenced by his numerous awards.
Daymond John has come a long way from turning a $40 budget into FUBU, a $6 billion fashion game-changer. Throughout his career, Daymond has continued to be an entrepreneur in every sense of the word. He is not only a pioneer in the fashion industry but a Shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, New York Times best-selling author, branding guru and highly sought after motivational speaker. Most recently, President Barack Obama appointed Daymond a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship, a position focused on promoting the power and importance of entrepreneurship on a global scale.
Keith Perrin is an accomplished, well-known entrepreneur who successfully introduced, FUBU the Collection, a game-changing apparel brand that currently reports over $6 billion in retail sales to date. As Vice President and director of marketing Keith was the point person who placed FUBU in dozens of music videos, photo shoots, concerts, TV appearances, and movies. His relationship with music artists and dozens of celebrities are on a first name, private access basis that has been the mainstay of FUBU’s strategy for years.
In his role, he also was the point person dealing directly with key retail accounts that were FUBU’s primary sales outlets. He and his 3 partners, Daymond John, Carl Brown and J. Alexander Martin realized extraordinary celebrity and literally changed the way business viewed the role of young multi-cultural entrepreneurs throughout America.
In recognition of Keith’s contributions to the fashion industry and his business management skills he has been honored with many prestigious awards including the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003); Crain’s Business of 40 Under 40 Award (2004).
Keith grew up in Queens NY and through the wise upbringing and encouragement of his single-parent mother, he began working when he was 14. By 18 he had established himself in NY’s real estate market first working for NY’s Housing and Urban Development office (HUD), then as a rental agent and finally as a manager of a 200 unit Harlem complex, the youngest manager in the company.
His work in the fashion industry has taken him across the world such as Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America.
Keith has worked with such well-known fashion brands as Kappa, Ted Baker, Coogi, Married to the Mob, Heatherette, and Drunken Munky.
FUBU the Collection became the first recipient of the Essence Achievement Award given to a company, and in 2004, the FUBU partners/owners were the first to receive the Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship from Brandeis University. Keith is an excellent public speaker and has been the key speaker in Colleges, High schools, Corporations, Boys and Girls clubs and has appeared on and addressed groups including The Judge Hatchett show, Various News programs, BET, and The Montel Williams Show.
Keith’s approachable personality has made him a well-known and widely “liked” figure in the fashion and entertainment industry.
He is an honorary member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity.
Even with a very busy schedule, Keith manages to give back to his community and assist those who are less fortunate by his charitable donations, mentoring and time.
As a founding member of the worldwide brand Fubu The Collection, Keith continues to pioneer new ventures in a quest to ensure urban lifestyle maintains its grip on society. Fubu Radio is his newest project and it is hot. Keith is the CEO and General Manager of the Station, where he oversees the administrative and business functions of the station.
Launched Dec 24, 2015, Fubu Radio has a scintillating concept to promote the best of our past while celebrating the possibilities of our future. It’s truly a “bridge” to what made us who we are and what we are evolving into as a progressive society. It is truly a celebration of the best in urban life, culture, and community.
Keith says, “because of my dissatisfaction with today’s current radio programming, I wanted something more exciting to listen to. Every day you hear the same songs played on the radio all over the country. I wanted to hear songs from back in the days of our era that they don’t play anymore on current radio playlists.
Today, Fubu Radio plays the best of Old School Hip Hop and R&B. It’s the kind of music that makes you want to get out of your chair & dance.
The playlist features the best Hip Hop classics from 1990-2006 and R&B from 1990-2016. Fubu Radio also showcases amazing mixes from the hottest DJ’s in the country. Additionally, Fubu Radio will feature on air-personalities later this year. Hot topics will include everything from current events, celebrity rumors, comedy, fashion, relationship advice and more.
To connect with the hottest station in urban life, check out www.fuburadio.com
“Anyone can dress someone. However, I look at the person, their personal style, and that’s what I try to cater to when we provide them with items from our collection.” – Keith Perrin
J. ALEXANDER MARTIN
J. Alexander Martin co-founded an empire built on originality, urban influence, and industry-changing music. The acclaimed J. Alexander Martin has externalized many successful ventures in the fashion industry including the iconic clothing line FUBU –“For Us By Us” – serving as the co-founder and Vice President. Today, his kingdom includes a clothing line, a non-profit and a consulting firm. Through all of his endeavors, it is his innate talent and ability to predict trends that have caused him to impact the fashion world once again. Rightfully portrayed as the man who made urban culture a part of the mainstream, J’s consistency in fashion has now given him a platform to emerge as an effectual leader once again.
To solely say J is one of the most venerated men in the design industry; would be an understatement. As the VP and Creative Director of FUBU, J’s matriculation to success was not by chance. Born and raised in Hollis Queens New York, his professional desire was realized at a young age. With an evoked confidence, motivation, and a sense of direction, this allowed J to navigate around the traps of urban life that snared many of his peers. With his developed vision to become an efficacious entrepreneur, J attended the Fashion Institute of Technology after courageously serving with the United States Navy during Desert Storm.
Consistently on the fast track to success, and while working to become a buyer for Macy’s department store, J and three of his colleagues Daymond John, Keith Perrin, Carlton Brown commenced the creation of the clothing company FUBU. Always the visionary, J. Alexander Martin capitalized on a prospect and ventured to expand the brand that was then primarily a hat making company. With $5k in hand from a legal settlement, J. Alexander Martin was FUBU’s first investor and launching pad. The initial 5K that J invested to expand the FUBU line turned profits, however, the emerging brand was far from the global empire envisioned.
With J’s creative influence and fashion knowledge, FUBU was quintessentially the first conglomerate for fusing fashion, music, and lifestyle. With notable figures like LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, TLC, and P. Diddy endorsing the brand full steam ahead, FUBU and the culture it created became a phenomenon. The company’s focus expanded to include a multitude of fashionable sportswear and other related casual apparel. FUBU’s niche urban-based products became a global success reporting more than $6B in sales throughout the life of the brand. J and his arsenal of branding skills single-handedly changed the way society and business viewed and invested in hip-hop and urban culture. J guided FUBU causing an indelible mark in an era where Hip-Hop was not yet validated. Notable celebrities like P. Diddy, Nelly, Jay Z and Akon attribute FUBU as being the catalyst to add fashion to their brand as well.
J likens his success to being a non-traditional thinker. The calculation of his diligent work ethic and the particular professional paths he has taken in life reflect ingenuity. Additionally, the wealth of relationships he has grown along the way has made him a seasoned professional in a multitude of disciplines. As Vice President and Creative Director of FUBU/FB and Crown Holder, J’s stylish market trends and industry techniques reflect his strong eye for color coordination, fabric, and embellishments. These inventive qualities are what make his designs stand out from the rest.
J’s zest for creativity and fashion savvy transcends far beyond just urban wear. In the realm of marketing, J is regarded as a branding mastermind. His clothing designs range from urban-contemporary styles to high-end men’s suits, dress shirts, and women’s wear. Continuing on the path of sharpening his skills, J continues to lend his showroom and boardroom expertise to brands and designers in all phases of business through executive/creative consulting. Crown Holder, Kappa, Drunken Monkey, Ted Baker, Coogi, LRG Ladies, Under 2 Flags, Married to the Mob and Heatherette, are in company with many other entities that have seen success with J’s inventiveness and expertise.
J’s unique approach to his profession has proven him to be undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with in the fashion category. The upcoming “ J. Alexander Martin” line is comprised primarily of luxury menswear and will include accessories, suits, tuxedos, dress shirts, and outerwear. J is truly the authority on fashion and lifestyle. He has built a foolproof system for men’s dress. The daily challenge of looking dapper is obsolete.
When not in the design lab, J Alexander Martin serves as the President of the New York State Black Chamber of Commerce. Poised with a sense of social responsibility & economic development. J. Alexander Martin’s lends a had to platforms that empowerment and strengthen urban communities. His philanthropic commitments have earned him a seat on the board of the “National Black Chamber of Commerce,” & “Made For Men” a foundation which donates slightly used suits, men’s wear and counseling to men who are re-entering the workforce either from incarceration or homelessness.
J is the CEO of Fubu Television Network which has VOD cable and broadcast agreements with Dish Network, Verizon & Frontier. It’s also available for iOS, Android, Apple TV & Amazon Prime. Fubu Television Network features fashion, design, beauty, interior design, sports lifestyle and multicultural/urban lifestyle-related programming. J stars in Stylemakers, a fashion reality television show.
J is a treasured member of BRAG (Black Retail Action Group) and Fashion 2.0. He is an honorary member of the historical Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. J has been honored with numerous prestigious awards for his contributions to the fashion industry and his business management skills have never gone unrecognized. Some of his accolades include Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003); Crain’s Business of 40 Under 40 Award (2002). FUBU the Collection became the first recipient of the Essence Achievement Award given to a company, and in 2004, Fashion Icon of the Year Award given by Jesse Jackson Rainbow Push Coalition 2016, the FUBU partners/owners were the first to receive the Asper Award for Global Entrepreneurship from Brandeis University.
“The Collections are made for people who do not want to stand out but want to be seen” – J. Alexander Martin
Never content to sit back and let the profits roll in, new challenges for FUBU came in the adversities of the music and film industry. In 2001, Carl launched FB Entertainment/FUBU Records. He collaborated with Universal Records in the first partnership of its kind to release a hip-hop and R&B compilation CD exceeding gold status generating millions in revenue. In 2005, Carl positioned the FUBU Corporation as the primary sponsor of Mike Harmon Racing for the NASCAR-BUSCH Series. This multiyear partnership introduced the 1st black-owned Company to race in the BUSH and NEXTEL Cup Series. In 2006, Carl launched his own Wine & Spirits division by introducing Seraphin Cognac and Erotique Liqueur to the market. Carl Brown’s Beverage Division is positioning itself to become a major player in importations of Fine Wine & Spirits. Carl Brown recently partnered with 3 Spirits LLC to create Erotique Liqueur on course to be distributed nationwide by 2017. In 2013 Carl Brown launched the FUBU Personal Care Line, Natural Style by FUBU, with a mission to provide personal care and grooming products specifically for the male and female African American market. In 2017, Carl once again expands with the launch of one of the most innovative commercial development ventures of the 21st century. With the creation of his premier boutique hospitality brand, Hotel FUBU LLC, Carl & Partners represents over 30 years of knowledgeable commitment to designing lifestyle products with a specific consumer focus and creates a powerful branding machine to meet the demands of the millennial market by promoting innovation through consumer-focused lifestyle marketing and design.
“Our aim was always to make FUBU more than just a clothing brand but a brand name in general” – Carl Brown