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Before streetwear’s ascendance to the height of fashion, Supreme’s collaboration with Louis Vuitton and Vetements‘ luxe $1100 hoodies, there was Wu Wear, the clothing brand created by the legendary rap group Wu Tang Clan in 1995, which lasted (despite success and plenty of counterfeiting) until 2008.
Now, Robert Diggs (aka RZA) and Oliver Grant (Power), two of the original founders of Wu Tang Clan, have seized the new streetwear moment and partnered with Live Nation’s merchandise division to relaunch Wu Wear. Out this week, the new incarnation of the brand hits stores such as Urban Outfitters, where it will be readily accessible to millennial and Gen Z shoppers who may have first heard Wu Tang Clan’s music from their parents or older relatives.
“As we all know — Wu Tang is forever,” RZA tells The Hollywood Reporter, quoting the group’s 1997 album title Wu-Tang Forever. “This line will represent the original aesthetic and the same purpose as classic Wu Wear, with updated silhouettes and design to reflect current fashion sensibility.” The Wu Wear reboot is also timed to the 25th anniversary of the group’s debut studio album, 36 Chambers, released in 1993.
The line is unisex and includes fleece jackets, graphic long-sleeve tees, short sleeve t-shirts and crew-neck sweaters. Many of the t-shirts and hoodies are emblazoned with the iconic Wu Tang Clan “W.”
There is also a throwback ‘90s vibe to the new Wu Wear which Rihanna, Chance the Rapper and director Eli Roth have already been wearing over the past few weeks.
Rihanna posted an image of herself on Instagram wearing a black Wu Wear sweatshirt with the word “forever” printed on one sleeve. Her caption: “for.eva.”
A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on
RZA, who has branched out into composing soundtracks for film as well as acting and directing, will continue to be at the design helm of the Wu Wear brand. “As the abbot of Wu Wear, all avenues of the brand are bounced by me for input — inspiration, design and bodies — everything. I review with my partners in Wu Wear and we come up with freshest collection,” he says. Power has been brought on to serve as the brand’s “historic creative consultant.”
RZA also adds that, going forward, the line will include collaborative and individual capsule collections highlighting specific periods of time through Wu Tang’s lineage: “We are extremely excited about Ghostface’s [original group member Ghostface Killah] input. That takes us back to the grain.”
Wu Wear’s 2017 holiday collection ranges from $27-$75 and is available at wuwear.com.
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