Sean “Diddy” Combs has never been a stranger to style, from his own fashion-forward wardrobe to heading the Sean John lifestyle and clothing brand. At the recent Met Gala, the media mogul stepped onto the red carpet wearing custom couture Sean Jean, celebrating a rebirth of the brand while also paying homage to fashion icons Andre Leon Talley and Karl Lagerfeld.
“A decade since designing for @seanjohn, last night I honored the greats, Karl Lagerfeld & André Leon Talley,” tweeted Combs, who has changed his middle name to Love. “Embracing Karl’s love for pearls & camellias, this look is a tribute to their legendary impact on fashion. Thank you @juneambrose for making my dreams come true!!”
Combs launched the men’s lifestyle brand in 1998. Sean John was known for its signature velour tracksuits, fragrances, eyewear, and loungewear. Following a lucrative deal that placed the brand in every Macy’s in the United States, it earned $525 million in annual sales at its peak. In addition, Sean John was the first brand to have a runway show broadcast nationally on E! and the now defunct Style network.
Combs sold Sean John to the Global Brands Group in 2016 and later sued the company for using his likeness without permission. According to Forbes, Diddy sold 80 percent of Sean John for an estimated $70 million and retained 20 percent of the company. In 2021, Combs pulled Sean John out of bankruptcy when his bid of $7.55 million allowed him to repurchase the brand.
“I launched Sean John in 1998 with the goal of building a premium brand that shattered tradition and introduced Hip Hop to high fashion on a global scale,” Diddy told Complex following the repurchase of Sean John. “Seeing how streetwear has evolved to rewrite the rules of fashion and impact culture across categories, I’m ready to reclaim ownership of the brand, build a team of visionary designers and global partners to write the next chapter of Sean John’s legacy.”
Combs’ Red Carpet Look
Combs designed his outfit with the help of celebrity fashion stylist June Ambrose. The ensemble included a wool and rayon black motorcycle tuxedo featuring 600 Swarovski crystals and black pearls. A taffeta rainwear puffer cape was adorned with over 1000 custom camellia flowers and other Lagerfeld-inspired accessories.
“I had a chance to spend time with Karl when I was designing Sean John, just as a fellow designer,” Combs told Vogue. “He was so creative and he had such attention to detail (and) to beauty.”
Combs’ cape also paid homage to Talley, who was known for wearing oversized cloaks.
“I was and still am focused on creating a lifestyle brand with Sean John,” Combs said in an interview with GQ several years ago. “I believe if you stay true to your vision and make great products, the rest will take care of itself.”
A Rise To The Top
Combs has an estimated net worth of $900 million after rising to become a mogul in the entertainment industry. He got his start in the music industry as an intern at Uptown Records, ultimately becoming an A&R who would serve as executive producer for the likes of Mary J. Blige and Jodeci. In 1993, he launched Bad Boy Records through a joint venture with Arista Records. Through Bad Boy, Combs would spearhead the careers of artists such as Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans, and 112.
Today, he owns RevoltTV and earns between $50 to $100 million annually. His earnings result from music royalties, current projects, and investments in brands including Ciroc vodka, DeLeon tequila, and the alkaline water Aquahydrate.