Sean John Combs, formally known as Diddy or Brother Love, is once again the proud owner of the streetwear fashion brand he launched in the ’90s. Following a bidding war with 45 potential buyers, Diddy walked away victorious and was able to purchase his eponymous brand at a $7.551 million cost on Monday (Dec. 20).
“I launched Sean John in 1998 with the goal of building a premium brand that shattered tradition and introduced hip-hop to high-fashion on a global scale,” said Combs in a statement to WWD. “Seeing how streetwear has evolved to rewrite the rules of fashion and impact culture across categories, I’m ready to reclaim ownership of the brand, build a team of visionary designers and global partners to write the next chapter of Sean John’s legacy.”
In 2004, the Bad Boy mogul became the first Black man to win the coveted CFDA Menswear Designer of the Year Award for his success with Sean John.
Earlier this month, it was reported that the North American division of Global Brands Group Inc., a Hong Kong-based brand management firm that owned 90 percent of Sean John, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy over the summer. Court papers revealed Sean John was considered GBG’s “crown jewel.” Diddy placed a bid of $3.3 million to acquire the brand after selling his majority stake back in 2016. It was believed he maintained a 10 percent stake in his fashion line ever since.
When Sean John was sold, it garnered roughly $450 million in annual retail sales. In 2018 and on its 20th anniversary, plans were created to grow it into a $1 billion business and an international expansion. However, this past February, Combs filed a lawsuit against GBG requesting $25 million for “false endorsement, misappropriation of likeness and violating his publicity rights,” due to a collaboration with fast-fashion brand Missguided in 2020. Days later, Diddy’s nonprofit, Citizen Change, filed a secondary lawsuit over GBG’s use of the phrase “Vote or Die,” a trademark owned by the organization. Both lawsuits have reportedly been dropped.
Final approval of Combs’ offer is scheduled to be held on Wednesday (Dec. 22).