V Exclusive! Urban Streetwear Brand Rocksmith Talks Wu-Tang Clan, Upcoming Projects & More
Founded in 2002, Rocksmith clothing is the couture of streetwear. Rooting back to a DJ crew in Tokyo, the brand creates the perfect blend of Japanese and New York City nightlife. Equipped with futuristic cuts, fabrics and designs the menswear line is for every music lover that loves style. The brands most recent collaboration with the Wu-Tang Clan has sparked a peak in the urban line. VV caught up with Rocksmith to talk about their latest success and upcoming projects. -Jessica Matos
Peep the interview below.
Why did you guys choose to collaborate with Wu-tang?
We teamed up with Wu-tang because of Wu-tang executive producer Oliver "Power" Grant, we built with them after a big collab that swept the globe. From there it was only natural to partner with them on a collection because we are life long fans of Wu-Tang. As the leading Music Lifestyle brand out it just made perfect sense.
What’s the theme behind the ninja motif?
The reason we use the Ninja as our mascot was for 2 reasons, 1. the Japanese heritage of the brands roots and 2. because the ninja just kills, doesn’t talk about killing or brag about killing. Rocksmith has always just worked to be our best, no extra hype, all earned. Move in silence, we move on the philosophy of the Ninja.
How has the store been working out for you guys?
The stores been really good. It’s a place where you can see the whole collection and marketing wise it’s great because we get a lot of people to come through just to see the platinum Wu-tang plaques or do interviews like Sucka Free did something with us.
Who has the most impact on the creative concepts for the brand?
It’s really a collective effort. We have two main designers. Erik does a lot of the graphics and Kenshin does cut and sew. An idea will come from any of us like I think we should flip this or change that and then we’ll all go to the table, let them design it and come back to us for feedback.
Take me behind the production cycle from concept to garment:
Cut and sew you have to produce a year in advance. We’ll start with that, A few of us will work on stuff that we like, inspiration pieces and go from there.
What in your opinion keeps a brand around?
The people. Once you lose your edge and what you started with you lose your core fan base. I think we have a good hip hop following, from rappers who like to wear our stuff down to kids who look up to those rappers and want to be like them.
Does the current position of Rocawear and Sean John affect you at all?
Completely different lane. They are more main stream urban, we are more streetwear urban.
Do you see Rocksmith delivering more contemporary pieces?
We are doing a little bit of both, fashion changes so rapidly that you kind of have to see what trends are going on and try to keep up. You might want to do something contemporary but depending on how your brand is and your fan base you have to know who you’re catering to. You may want to do contemporary but it may not work for you. You have to find a balance between the kids that are still very young and the adults that are growing older. We have the ninjas which is the younger crowd and cleaner places for the older fans.
Do you intend on staying in more boutiques or do you plan on branching out to bigger department stores?
We definitely plan on staying in boutique places for a while. It’s a lot different working with boutiques. We are able to partner with boutique owners for events where as with a department stores it may not be as flexible.
Will Rocksmith be doing another capsule collection with other artists?
We will probably not have another collection like the Wu collection. We had collaboration with Wale last summer, so smaller capsule collections in the future that will be a part of the ongoing brand.
Will Rocksmith be venturing into womenswear for 2012?
That is something that has been in the works now, we plan on introducing them very soon. 2012 is the first time we’ve used the color pink. We will start introducing some women’s fits beginning with tee shirts and if it goes into anything else we’ll see.
How would you compare Rocksmith from when it first started to present day?
It has definitely been a work in progress and I am a bit amazed even throughout the last year and a half our transformation has been tremendous, I think the company itself has had tremendous growth as far as business in general. From working with underground rappers to now collabing with Wutang and Wale, The sky is really the limit.
Take a look at Rocksmith's Spring 2012 Lookbook video below.