Britain experiences surge in Hip Hop clothing sales
July 15, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle NewsSALES of hip hop clothing driven by the growing commercialism of music acts are soaring in Britain.
Online retailers, operating in a market in which high street chains can't respond, are reporting major increases in demand.
Urban clothing expert Robby Sur, managing director of Yukka.co.uk, said: "The sector is seeing doubled sales in the last year as streetwear clothing takes off.
"Hip hop labels provide a level of individuality for youth, allowing young people to feel like their favourite rapper or singer while setting their own trends."
Examples of music acts that are taking advantage are 50 Cent (G-Unit Clothing), hip hop tycoon Jay-Z (RocaWear), and rap mogul P Diddy (Sean John).
For years, artists watched as sales of the clothing they wore took off as a result of their association with it. Now their own personal clothing brands are becoming as important as their music.
"The market for hip hop was initially a niche one with purchases by hardcore hip hop fans only. Now it's more diverse, with a wide range of ages becoming interesting ˆ from 10-year-olds up to people in their mid 30s," said Robby Sur.
A major factor in broadening the attraction is that American hip hop manufacturers have worked with European distributors to adjust their sizes to meet the more fitted look sought in Britain which contrast with the 'baggy' look more commonly associated with urban fashion.
As well as big American players like Akademiks, ECKO, Ed Hardy, G-Unit, LRG, Phat Farm and RocaWear, home grown talent in Britain such as King Apparel and Projekts NYC are making waves in the UK urban streetwear market.
The hip hop trend has expanded into Hollywood and computer gaming.
50 Cent has a multi-platinum sophomore album, The Massacre, and has followed in the footsteps of mentor and fellow rapper Eminem by releasing his own biographical film Get Rich or Die Trying alongside the release of his console game Bulletproof, allowing fans to simulate the street life of Curtis '50 Cent' Jackson.
Hip hop has become a multi-faceted industry, where urban and hip hop artists are making significant moves into other areas of the entertainment business, providing further credibility and cross selling opportunities for affiliated brands.
Men are responsible for 90% of purchases at Yukka.co.uk, but the female market is starting to show signs of growth too.