CONFIRMED! Under Armour To Collaborate With Stylish Rapper A$AP Rocky
BALTIMORE – This past July 2016, DM Fashion Book exclusively reported that “Baltimore-based activewear giant Under Armour is putting the final touches on a sneaker collection with stylish Harlem rapper A$AP Rocky” (see it here).
Today, Saturday (September 16), we could officially confirm that the ink is dried and the deal is done. The partnership will include a collection that will be created later this year.
Yesterday Friday (September 15), Under Armour confirmed that it has signed what it is calling “a multi-facted strategic partnership” with A$AP Rocky that will involve the creation of a new collection.
The brand also said that the deal will also include building a series of “philanthropic community-based programs“. According to WWD, “The upcoming collection will be created before the end of the year with a later launch at retail. It will be housed under the Under Armour Sportswear (UAS) umbrella, an elevated lifestyle product division overseen by Ben Pruess, president of sport fashion, and includes the Tim Coppens-designed contemporary sportswear collection.”
In addition to the rapper’s product, the deal includes updating existing — or opening new — community centers in neighborhoods where students and their families can express their creativity through art, fashion, beauty, music and sport. These will initially focus on Baltimore, Los Angeles and New York and Rocky will participate whenever possible as an instructor.
“I wanted more than a collaboration partner,’’ said Rocky. “The only way to achieve this is with someone who is like minded. The Under Armour team and especially chief executive officer and founder Kevin Plank, has a shared vision, enthusiasm, and desire to do the same.”
He said that growing up in Harlem, he “had limited resources to channel my inner creativity, so I spent too much time on the streets when I should have been more productive. I now have the ability to create a better situation for today’s kids so they can go from school to a safe place to create without boundaries. Under Armour was the company that was most excited about my idea to turn sportswear products on their head while bettering kids’ lives.”
Todd Montesano, senior vice president of global entertainment and partnerships for Under Armour, said the relationship with the rapper “is a first for Under Armour. He is one of the most influential style leaders working off field in the world today and we respect his pure creative expertise and passion for culture and community.”
Montesano said he believes the partnership with Rocky “will undoubtedly provide an impact across our business, and it is our intent to empower him and his numerous talents to explore new product avenues. Furthering our unique and truly first-of-its-kind partnership together, we’ll prioritize giving back in disadvantaged communities, particularly with the youth of America.”
No additional info was provided. Stay tuned to DM Fashion Book as this story develops!
Rocky is repped by One Management. Aside from sitting front row at fashion week around the world, he appeared in campaigns for Alexander Wang, Ferragamo and DKNY, as well as countless editorials and magazine covers from Vogue and Interview to Dazed and i-D.
Photos Credit: Willy Vanderperre