Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Rapper finds a new passion in apparel

August 15, 2008

Rapper LL Cool J says he is just as passionate about selling a new clothing line at Sears as he is about his music.

His casual wear collection, to be rolled out at 450 Sears stores on Sept. 7, features clothes for men, women and children. Prices start at $24 for T-shirts, $50 for jeans and $60 for outerwear.

llcool2.jpg“I wanted to bring a whole new flavor to Sears and take it somewhere it had never been before,” LL Cool J (seen with models at right) told Reuters.

The hip-hop star has launched other clothing lines, including the upscale Todd Smith collection (his real name is James Todd Smith). But he said in an interview that he always wanted to create an affordable clothing line, and felt Sears, where he shopped as a kid, was the right retailer to partner with.

“I didn’t trust the LL Cool J brand to just any company,” he said.

His wife and four children are included in print ads for the clothing line that are set to appear in October issues of magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Spin and Vibe. Pictures (such as the one shown) for the campaign were taken by Mark Seliger, who photographed LL Cool J for the cover of Rolling Stone magazine many years ago.

The artist said he expects younger customers to seek out his new clothing brand but has no illusions that it will solve the woes at Sears, Roebuck, which is fighting to reverse a trend of sliding sales.

“Obviously I’m experiencing an incredible surge right now in my music and the different things I’m doing,” LL Cool J said. “But that being said, this isn’t about some guy single-handedly turning around a company.”

(Photo: Mark Seliger)

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