Macy’s new clothing line by Russell Simmons

Entrepreneur Russell Simmons is making yet another fashion statement with his latest Argyleculture clothing line for men now available at Macy’s department stores.

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Entrepreneur Russell Simmons is making yet another fashion statement with his latest Argyleculture clothing line for men now available at Macy’s department stores.

The music mogul, who founded Def Jam Records – now called Island Def Jam, was decked out in blue jeans, gym shoes, a sleeveless sweater from his new line and his signature New York baseball cap, as he made a recent promotional stop at Macy’s at River Oaks mall in south suburban Calumet City. The Defender caught up with this hip-hop legend there.

“There is an absence of color in today’s fashion designs,” Simmons said referring to a lack of Black designers. “I want to fill that void.”

The founder and chief executive officer of Rush Communications LLC, an investment holding company, also founded the Phat Farm and American Classics clothing lines. He also co-founded the Baby Phat clothing line with his ex-wife Kimora Lee Simmons.

Simmons, 54, father of two young daughters, said what makes Argyleculture unique is its target consumer.

“My audience is people of color and the hip hop culture. These groups had not any expression before Argyleculture come about,” Simmons told the Defender.

He explained that once a young man outgrew a clothing line like Phat Farm there were no alternative clothes for them to wear.

“President Barack Obama wears Ralph Lauren these days because he has outgrown young men clothing lines. This is why it was so important to design a clothing line that older men could graduate to wearing,” said Simmons.

Clothing lines have not only caught Simmons’ eye but other Black entertainers, such as Sean “P. Diddy” Combs, who founded Sean John; Curtis “50 Cents” Jackson, who founded G-Unit; Shawn “Jay-z” Carter and Damon Dash, who founded Rocawear; and Cornell “Nelly” Haynes Jr., who founded Apple Bottoms.

Russell, who practices yoga, is not worried about competing with these urban fashion labels.

“I do not consider these clothing lines competitors because these are young men (16-24) companies and Argyleculture is a men’s company,” he said. “We do not have any competitors.”

As Simmons signed autographs at Macy’s for fans he reminded them about his new reality TV show “Running Russell Simmons,” which premiered Tuesday on the Oxygen cable network.

Yvette McDonald, 56, was among the fans that patiently stood in line last week to secure an autograph, hug and picture.

“I brought my son with me so he could see a living legend. Mr. Simmons is a positive role model for our kids,” said McDonald, who traveled from nearby south suburban Park Forest to meet Simmons. “This was my first time seeing him in person. It’s good to see he is down to earth and can hang out with us common folks.”

Copyright 2010 Chicago Defender

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