Dashing to Growth: Rocawear Projects Sales Of $500 Million

Damon Dash of Rocawear has had quite a year, including surpassing $300 million in sales. He details what’s next for the hot urban brand.

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NEW YORK — It was 5:30 p.m. on Friday and Damon Dash was starting the weekend a little early.

Saturday was his birthday and he had every reason to celebrate. Not only was he turning 32, but the chief executive officer of Rocawear, Roc-A-Fella Records and Roc-A-Fella Films was toasting to quite a year.

His clothing line, Rocawear, has reached the $300 million mark in its third year. He has purchased the rights to produce, manufacture and distribute the contemporary sportswear collection, C. Ronson, and the former Moomba night spot, which he has renamed The Breakfast Club. Dash also premiered "Death of a Dynasty" — a film he wrote, directed, produced and acted in — at the Tribeca Film Festival on Wednesday, and bought Armadale Vodka, the premium Scottish liquor mentioned in many of Jay-Z’s lyrics.

Why a vodka company? "Because I like to get drunk and I don’t like to pay for it," he said.

It’s that attitude and party lifestyle for which Dash is known. A regular on the Manhattan party scene, Dash has successfully turned his fun into budding conglomerate. While he is in the Rocawear offices every day, he is running all of his businesses at the same time — taking phone calls from his best friend and business partner, rapper Jay-Z, negotiating the next license for Rocawear and doing an interview about his new movie. Dash said he would like to add Rocawear home, men’s swimwear and women’s lingerie collections to round out its portfolio.

"I love women, sexy women. I want to make women look sexy," he said, while pouring himself and three others in the area a shot of Armadale. "You think maybe I should do thongs? Flavored thongs, Damon Dash flavored thongs. I like the sound of that."

Despite his playfulness, Dash really does take his business ventures seriously. He admits that while he does enjoy drinking Armadale vodka, he bought the company and C. Ronson because of new opportunities it can offer him.

"The C. Ronson collection presents an exciting opportunity to extend the reach of Rocawear," he said of the brand which is on target to reach $1 million this year. "Partnering with Charlotte [Ronson] on her collection will allow us to capitalize on both of our strengths — Charlotte’s design expertise and Rocawear’s ability to…manufacture, market and deliver a quality product."
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