Mogul Spotlight: FUBU Co-Founder Carl Brown Speaks on Brand Legacy and Natural Style by FUBU Launch (Exclusive)

| June 28, 2014 | 0 Comments
Carl Brown, Natural Style by FUBU/Credit: Carla Carla Lopez-Brown

Carl Brown, Natural Style by FUBU/Photo Credit: Carla Lopez-Brown

Hip Hop Enquirer sat down to talk with FUBU Founder Carl Brown about their new hair care line, Natural Style by FUBU, and the conversation covered everything from who owns the brand (don’t believe the hype) to why it makes perfect sense for a fashion house to get into the hair care industry.

FUBU (For Us, By Us), founded in 1992 by Brown and his partners J. Alexander Martin, Keith Perrin, and Daymond John (who has become a household name thanks to the ABC series Shark Tank), started out as an urban-style casual and sportswear line, but has grown to include a suit collection, eyewear, belts and shoes.

Brown insists FUBU, which has grossed as much as $350 million in annual worldwide sales, is still going strong in the states and he and his partners have retained full ownership of the company.  He believes what confused people is their manufacturing and distribution deal with Samsung which allowed them to expand overseas.

“No, we didn’t leave the US market.  I think that when it comes to fashion, especially trends such as FUBU…there’s a life span so, while we were at the top of the food chain, we made a lot of investments and did a lot of licensing deals on the international level because we knew that our window was limited.  We didn’t pull out, we still do huge business with Walmart.  I think at this point, if not their bestselling shoe, we’re in the top two.  So, we still do some limited business here in the United States.”


He continued:

“We never really left as a corporation, our name just hasn’t been in the forefront. We own COOGI which has had a very long run the last ten years and we’ll be re-launching that in the next year.  We own a stake in Etonic sneakers that’s launching this fall, we’re doing a soft launch now.  So, we’ve had shares in several different, big ventures, but obviously when people think of us four guys, the first thing they think about is FUBU, which is fine, and we love FUBU, but we do have our hands in a lot of other things.”

“I appreciate you addressing the ownership part because although it may not be important to some people, to us it means a lot because we put our blood, sweat and tears into the brand and to say that someone else owns it kind of hurts and takes away from what we worked for.  So, we do own the company.  Now, if anyone wants to buy it… (laughs)”

The newest venture, Natural Style by FUBU, is Brown’s brainchild, and having seen how lucrative the hair care industry can be due to a previous partnership, he is hedging his bets that there is room for another hair care line, especially one that is black owned.

“Natural Style by FUBU is geared towards African-American women and we feel that the ingredients we have will work for you whether you’re wearing a wig or extensions, or you wear your hair natural or permed, or you’re in transition.  The Miracle9Complex is our signature formula and is a blend of natural oils like Shea butter, olive, coconut and jojoba oils, and pomegranate.”

“For men we have a pomade, a 3-in-1 body wash that is also a shampoo and conditioner (so guys don’t need 3 and 4 bottles in the shower) and a lotion that is also a conditioner.”

Brown says fashion house FUBU’s foray into the hair care business makes perfect sense, hence the tag line “Hair is fashion, and fashion is our heritage.”

“I see a lot of people asking why FUBU is entering the hair care market when we’re a clothing line, which is a fair question.  You have to evolve as a corporation, and we always said hair… when it comes to fashion, they are connected.  Hair IS fashion.”

Be sure to check out FUBU’s newest business venture by clicking here.

Follow Carl Brown on twitter @DaRealCarlBrown and follow us on twitter@HipHopEnquirer 

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Category: Interviews, Latest Hip Hop News, Special, Talk of the Town

About the Author ()

Sylvia Burley is a Freelance Writer and Integrated Marketing & Communications Consultant. She writes on various topics including marketing, politics, entertainment, current events, and living green. A native Detroiter, she is a graduate of Michigan State University and loves singing, foreign movies and rollercoasters. She currently resides in Atlanta because she doesn't like the cold.

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