Among TikTok and Depop sets, everything Y2K is trending up: True religion is back, truck caps are back, low-rise jeans are back, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are dating again. So perhaps it’s not too surprising that the iconic early brand’s resurgence Sean John could be on the horizon.
Based on Bloomberg, hip hop artist and fashion entrepreneur Sean “Diddy” Combs bid for $3.3 million to buy back his eponymous label out of bankruptcy. Currently, the bankrupt brand management company Global Brands Group (known as GBG USA Inc.) currently owns 90% of the trademark rights, of which Combs keeps the rest. Other interested buyers can submit an offer through December 15.
Combs launched his famous brand in 1998 and it is not an exaggeration to say that he absolutely reworks the whole idea of a celebrity-led fashion brand in his dazzling, dazzling image.. As always, it sometimes takes an interdisciplinary company to completely innovate in an industry, and Combs has done just that. He sees the coming marriage of haute couture and haute couture, along with the inevitable fusion of fashion as entertainment, and utilizes it sparingly. When menswear was still a relatively minor issue in the larger fashion ecosystem, he treated it like a main course, not a side dish. His shows are exceptional – one was the first runway show to be broadcast simultaneously on TV in 2001, on E!’s Style network. A year later, he held his concert at Cipriani and invitations, New York Times report, was machine-embroidered, came with silk-knotted cufflinks in a suede case, and cost $60,000 apiece (the whole affair’s budget was $1.2 million). In 2004, he won the CFDA Award for Designer of the Year.
In 2016, Washington Post reporter Robin Givhan did an extensive profile of the brand, looking back at how the business worked and how it actually worked. Givhan reports that the brand was still doing pretty well at the time, with $400 million in annual sales. Later that year it was official announced that Global Brands will acquire a majority stake in the brand. An article on WWD saw the deal as a partnership aimed at growing the brand’s footprint, including its global aspirations.
Time passes and things don’t go as planned. The pandemic came and changed everything. While that’s certainly an oversimplification, what we do know is that at some point the relationship went awry, culminating in Combs filed multiple lawsuits against GBG this early year. This rebranding offering could be seen as his last chance to get his name back and take advantage of the moment — a special opportunity poised to welcome him back. After all, post-COVID, Sean John’s soft pleated tracksuit in rich pearl tones suddenly looks so, very attractive.