Rocawear's not just for people who grew up playing basketball and rapping (or wish they did) like its co-founder and president, Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter, anymore. A new online marketing campaign reflects the shift in branding. According to the hip-hop mogul, the "urban" and "streetwear" focus is out, and "mainstream" is in when it comes to the clothing line. "We wanted to show people how we've evolved and repositioned ourselves, without abandoning our original DNA," he said.

The new campaign includes 37 short videos of participants wearing Rocawear, often against the backdrop of Jay-Z's music. 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.

Advertisement

"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 anymore. There's so much cross-pollination, and the same thing is true for clothes," said Jay-Z.

One video features the white musical duo Karmin, who've racked up millions of views for hip-hop covers on YouTube and performed at the BET Awards preshow. A "That's Rocawear" logo appears in each clip.

"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.

Advertisement

If the history of African-American music and clothing tells us anything, Rocawear was destined to go "mainstream" eventually, probably without much effort. It's a testament to Jay's business saavy that he decided to be intentional about giving that inevitable development a little online push. 

Read more at WWD Media.

In other news: Memphis' First African-American Mayor Dies at 76.

Like The Root on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter.