The New York Post reports that half of the brand’s men’s and boy’s clothing division was let go on Jan. 6, citing “economic reasons” as the cause for their departure. And we get that fashion is suffering right now, but we weren’t really worried about Rocawear — Jay-Z sold the label to Iconix Brand Group in 2009 for $204 million. Which is a ton of money, and even more considering the economy was in the throes of death this side of three years ago.
Rocawear employees (the ones who are still there, anyway) have since seen the brand suffer serious declines, and Jay-Z hasn’t been doing anything to help boost business. Partly because his deal with Iconix, which also owns Badgely Mischka, London Fog and Ed Hardy, doesn’t require him to — and partly because it wouldn’t be very lucrative if he did.
While Jay-Z retained an interest in Rocawear as part of the deal, his contractual obligations to the brand have expired and the rapper has since refused to promote it amid steady, double-digit sales drops, sources said.
“Jay-Z doesn’t do anything without getting paid a lot of money — a lot more than Rocawear is generating,” according to one insider.
Firing half the staff will undoubtedly free up a ton of resources. Whether those resources will turn into Jay-Z money remains to be seen.