puff daddy's iconic 2000s label, sean john, is gearing up for a comeback

Rihanna, Kanye, and a new investor: the stars have aligned to bring back Sean John, and those famous velour tracksuits.

by Isabelle Hellyer
05 December 2016, 6:00am

One of the label's earliest fashion shows, at NYFW in 2000.

Puff Daddy's Sean John label might just be ready for a big return. The 18-year-old streetwear label that came to define the the early 2000s is getting a major resource injection, courtesy of Global Brands Group. WWD report that the Hong Kong-based company — which handles select Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, and Coach lines — have acquired a majority stake in the brand.

Sean John made its debut at NYFW in 2000, and continued to show in the city until 2008 when the label repositioned itself as more of an 'accessible luxury' brand, akin to Michael Kors.

"When we started Sean John, it was my dream to build it into an aspirational brand for the young consumer," Puff Daddy told WWD. "[The Global Brands Group partnership] provides us the opportunity to reach the Millennial customer on a global level, fulfilling its true potential." Previously, the rapper has said he aims to turn Sean John into a $1 billion business.

It's fair to say there's never been a more appropriate moment for Sean John to rejoin the fashion set. In recent months, the label's been worn (on high rotation) by the very same musicians-turned-designers it paved the way for: Rihanna and Kanye West. Rih's sported the label's famed velour tracksuits for some time now, and she wears a Sean John denim jacket in the FourFiveSeconds music video  — an archive piece from Kanye's own closet.

Jeff Tweedy, the label's longtime president, said the rapper is optimistic about Sean John's new chapter. "We are a successful brand now and this is the rocket fuel that will take it to the next level." Tweedy, Puffy and Global Brands Group have their sights set on global expansion, namely re-introducing Sean John to markets outside of America.

"When I think about the whole journey," Puffy concluded, "it truly was a fashion revolution — from how things were then and to see the impact we had on style." Long live velour. 


Text Isabelle Hellyer

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