PacSun appoints A$AP Rocky as first guest artistic director
Youth-focused Californian fashion retailer PacSun announced on Thursday that NYC-born rapper A$AP Rocky is joining the company as its first-ever guest artistic director, a role that he will hold for the next 18 months.
In what PacSun described as “an unprecedented partnership” with Rocky’s recording label, A$AP Worldwide, the rapper will be responsible for overseeing designer collaborations, brand campaigns, and in-store activations that will support product launches at the PacSun locations in Downtown LA and Soho, New York.
According to comments made by the retailer’s newly appointed guest artistic director in a release, the partnership will involve “several limited-edition collections that are both nostalgic and forward at the same time.”
The first collaboration to be led by Rocky at PacSun will be a capsule with Vans. The collection will feature three styles of the Vans Old Skool silhouette, offering black canvas, white leather and silver reflective colorways with flame embroidery.
“Our community of customers is looking for something unexpected, that elevates their daily experience and lets them express their personal style. Nobody bridges the gap between high fashion and streetwear like A$AP Rocky,” said PacSun co-CEO Alfred Chang, who was appointed to his current role alongside Michael Relich in May of this year.
“We are proud to welcome him to the PacSun family and energized about making his ideas a reality that can be shared (and worn) by millions and lead a global style conversation,” he added.
This isn’t the first time that PacSun is joining forces with Rocky, who notably teamed up with the retailer for a controversial collaboration in 2015, when a t-shirt designed by the rapper was ultimately pulled from the shelves because it featured an upside-down American flag, deemed by some to be disrespectful.
“It has been an inspiring creative process for our team to work alongside A$AP Rocky for the past 18 months,” commented PacSun president Brieane (Brie) Olson. "The design process working with Rocky has really allowed the PacSun brand, which has always been built on youth culture, to connect design innovation with what is happening from a cultural perspective and translate that into coveted unique product offerings and design collaborations for our consumer.”
PacSun’s revenues came to more than $700 million in 2020, with 50% of this total accounted for by digital sales. The retailer has continued to see growth this year, posting a 105% year-over-year increase in revenue in the period ended May 2021, while digital sales have risen 65%.
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