Veteran streetwear brand FUBU is looking to reach out to a larger and younger generation with their latest capsule collection with Black Fashion Fair designed by Antoine Grégory.
The iconic For Us By Us (FUBU) brand founded in 1992 by famed “Shark Tank” co-host Daymond John, Keith Perrin, J. Alexander Martin, and Carl Brown, celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The Queens, New York, quartet of entrepreneurs came together and revolutionized pop culture and hip-hop as one of the first fashion streetwear brands, making $350 million in sales annually.
The co-founders are all still involved with the brand.
Meanwhile, the designer Grégory launched Black Fashion Fair in 2020, as described by Complex, to discover and support “Black designers and the communities they inspire.” The BFF platform serves as a marketplace for Black-owned brands.
“It feels like you innately have some attachment to it. It just feels like it’s yours,” the fashion designer said about FUBU. “And I think that’s what I’ve always appreciated about the brand is that it did feel like it was for us. But it’s so interesting, because when we were on set, the model was like, ‘I had no idea FUBU stood for For Us, By Us.’’’
He added, “This collaboration will help introduce the brand to a whole new generation in a whole new way.”
FUBU and BFF collectively released a 36-piece collection that captures the essence of urban classics with a luxury twist. Keeping it ’90s, the assortment includes elongated sports jerseys, tracksuits, satin shorts, sweat suits, and more available at Black Fashion Fair’s website. There’s also limited edition BFF x FUBU T-shirts and other items rendered in crystal script writing that echo the Y2K generation.
“The FUBU customer gets something new, and a customer who is not a FUBU customer gets to experience this new version of FUBU,” said Grégory.
Notable photographers Ahmad Barber and Donté Maurice, otherwise known as AB+DM Studio, shot the collection’s campaign photos. Grégory reportedly was given full creative freedom to revamp the collection based on his understanding of what FUBU means to the people and the culture.
Co-founder Perrin said, “It’s obvious he’s done his homework. He’s a real enthusiast and it shows.”
Martin spoke highly of BFF’s event at Brooklyn Museum in August, honoring the life of late designer Virgil Abhloh. He was happy about the event’s huge turnout, as shown on social media, noting that “it’s all about paying it forward.”
FUBU’s quintessential comeback story is as iconic as they come. At one point, they owned 5,000 stores. When Daymond John wasn’t strategizing, he was convincing the hottest rappers and artists in the 90s to wear FUBU in their music videos. Before you know it, artists like LL Cool J, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Will Smith, Beyoncé, NSync, and more were stepping out in the latest streetwear fashions by FUBU.
The company released a collection with retail chain Century 21 before it went out of business in 2020. They joined forces with The Brand Liaison the following year to license their apparel and with Amrapur to produce more collections with outerwear, throwback denim, and more.
As for Gregory, he’s focused on an upcoming partnership with the Jean-Michel Basquiat estate and making the Black Fashion Fair a conglomerate. Also in the works is his second fashion book to showcase the influence of Black culture and art on fashion, after releasing the first last year.
He said, “I am trying to build something that is bigger than myself. I want Black Fashion Fair to be an institution for Black fashion and Black designers. I want it to be our own institution of discovery and research.”