Taipei, Taiwan (PressExposure) February 22, 2009 -- Shawn Corey Carter better known as his stage name, Jay-Z, is an American hip hop artist and businessman. He is the former CEO of Def Jam Recordings and Roc-A-Fella Records. He also co-owns The 40/40 Club and the New Jersey Nets. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having sold over 26 million units in the United States. Apart from having been President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, Jay-Z is also one of the owners and founders of the Roc-A-Fella empire, which includes Roc-A-Fella Records, Roc-La-Familia, Roc-A-Fella Films and Rocawear.
Jay-Z has also established himself as an entrepreneur like his fellow hip-hop-moguls, and friends, Russell Simmons, Dr. Dre and Sean "Diddy" Combs, who also have business holdings such as record companies and clothing lines In 1999, Jay-Z co-founded the urban clothing brand rocawear with Roc-A-Fella Records partners Damon Dash and Kareem "Biggs" Burke. Rocawear has clothing lines and accessories ranges fr men, women and children. The line was taken over by Jay-Z in early 2006 following a falling out with co-founder Damon Dash.
The popularity of the brand brought have brought it an annual sales of $700 Million. Through this, rocawear expanded its brand through licensing pacts to develop lines for children, juniors, socks and sandals, leather suede and fur outerwear, handbags and belts, lounge wear and big & tall, headwear, jewelry, and sunglasses; as well as co-branded product with Pro-Keds, State Property, and Team Roc.
Because of this huge success, the brand became the target of a brand management company by the name of Iconix Brand Group. Iconix Brand Group is a brand management company that licenses brands to retailers and manufacturers primarily in the apparel, footwear, and apparel accessory industries.
In 2006, the company acquired the Mudd, London Fog, Mossimo, Ocean Pacific brands on April 11, August 29, November 1, and November 6, respectively. The company continued with acquisitions in 2007 with the purchase of Danskin and rocawear brands.
In March 2007, Jay-Z sold the rights to the Rocawear brand to Iconix Brand Group, for $204 million. Jay-Z will retain his stake in the company and will continue to oversee the marketing, licensing and product development.