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Eschewing its traditional print campaign for fall, Rocawear launched a new online marketing campaign on Thursday that will run through the end of the year.

ROCAWEAR GOES VIRAL: Eschewing its traditional print campaign for fall, Rocawear launched a new online marketing campaign on Thursday that will run through the end of the year. The Iconix Brand Group Inc.-owned brand will seed the Web with 37 short, original videos featuring an eclectic mix of musicians, poets, artists and even a troupe of fleet-footed double-dutch jumpers.

The multicultural group of featured performers reflects the shift of Rocawear from a strictly urban, streetwear-focused brand towards a more modern and mainstream positioning that appeals to a broad spectrum of young consumers, said Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, co-founder and president of Rocawear.

“We are a great American brand. We don’t envision ourselves as an urban brand or streetwear brand,” explained Jay-Z. “We wanted to show people how we’ve evolved and repositioned ourselves, without abandoning our original DNA.”

The videos feature participants wearing Rocawear and oftentimes incorporating music from Jay-Z. They include Taylor McFerrin (son of Bobby); rapper-DJ Jasmine Solano; the dance duo Les Twins; Wordspit the Illest, and the Dynamic Diplomats of Double Dutch.

“It’s all walks of life. When I played the Glastonbury music festival people said a hip-hop artist couldn’t play a rock festival. But culture isn’t segmented like that any more. There’s so much cross-pollinization and the same thing is true for clothes,” said Jay-Z.

The first video that went up Thursday features the musical duo Karmin, who hit it big on YouTube — they’ve racked up 23 million views for a cover version of Chris Brown’s “Look At Me Now—and were recently signed to Epic Records. A “That’s Rocawear” logo serves as the tag line on all the videos.

“The landscape of urban culture has changed dramatically over the past two to four years — it’s not as obvious as it used to be. Who would have expected that our competition would now be Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister and Aéropostale?” said Jameel Spencer, chief marketing officer of Rocawear.

The remainder of the videos will be rolled out through the holiday season. All of the videos will live on a new site at Additionally, the videos will be incorporated into each participant’s own online presences, such as their individual YouTube channels or Facebook pages.

“I think that’s where our consumer is moving. Everyone is Internet-savvy and spending a lot of time online and that’s where our focus is now,” said Jay-Z.

In another effort to burnish the brand with tastemakers, on Monday Rocawear will open a pop-up shop at 201 Mulberry Street in Manhattan’s NoLIta neighborhood. Rather than sell merchandise, the space will serve as a brand showcase and the company is inviting celebrities, bloggers, radio personalities and students to come in and tape testimonials on their impressions of the brand. These videos will also be posted to

“People are often surprised at how much we’ve changed. They’re like, ‘That’s Rocawear?’” said Spencer.


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