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Go Platinum:
The Blue Print for Selling Clothes
By Darnell “Twiz” Johnson
 

Back in the day a platinum record would get an artist a Grammy, a spot in heavy rotation or even a commercial on TV. Now in days if an artist scores a platinum record they get their own clothing line. The question is should we take these clothing lines seriously and are they hurting the fashion industry. We can accept clothing lines from artists such as P. Diddy, Jay-Z, and Master P, but these guys are known for being good businessmen as much being success artists. Therefore, these three artists are granted amnesty in this article.

However, there are many other artists who do not seem to be very business savvy that are bringing out clothing lines solely on the basis that they have platinum records. Most of these artists do not have any creative control over these clothing lines.

Most of these artists are being used for their name and not their knowledge of fashion. Can anyone be convinced that Bow Wow knows anything about the fashion industry? Nope! But guess what? He has a clothing line coming out this fall. It does not stop with Bow Wow. We see clothing lines from artists such as Eve, 50 cent, Nelly and a host of others. The one thing that these artists have in common is that they all enjoy platinum success.


Nelly Band-Aids Coming to a department store near you!

Now this is by no means a playa hatin’ session because if I was an artist and was given the opportunity to have my own clothing line, I would do it. The purpose of this article is not to bash these artists but to pose the following questions:

  • Should we take these clothing line seriously?
  • Do the artists coming out with these clothing lines hurt or help the fashion industry? (From a creative aspect, not dollars)

When I pose the question, “Should we take these clothing line seriously?” what I am asking is, will the clothing lines last or will they disappear as soon as the artist’s popularity runs out?

Most artist today do not have staying power in the music industry so how can we expect their clothing lines to stay around in the fashion industry? Also, most of these artists have no creative control over their music so how can we be sure that they have any creative control over their clothing lines? They may get to see the cloths before they hit stores but I doubt if they had a significant role in the development process. I might be wrong in some cases, but I have a feeling that I am right in most.

The second question posed is rather or not this trend hurts or helps the fashion industry. That is meant by that question is, are designers and the industry as a whole benefiting from this recent trend or is it causing problems? Are those who became designers the traditional way, who do not benefit from selling millions of CD’s, hurt or helped by this trend? Does this trend cause saturation in the industry?

I am not saying that this article answers all these questions. What it does is raise the issue and encourages dialog in regards to the issue. Believe me, I’ve talked to a lot of people in fashion about this very issue and what I found is that a lot of them have a lot to say about this topic.

As an up and coming designer myself, I believe it will be more difficult to for me and others like me to come out with clothing lines due to this recent trend. I also believe it will be if not already, very saturated. However, non-music designers like myself will be forced to step our game up. If we don’t come out with something fresh and original, we will not get noticed. We don’t benefit from the exposure that a platinum CD provides. So to all aspiring designers, I say this, unless you plan on dropping a platinum CD soon, you need to step your game up and bring the fire or get lost in the crowd!

 
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