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Rocawear to add women's range and relaunch footwear

Streetwear brand Rocawear is readying a womenswear line and relaunching its footwear collection, while its menswear range is picking up new high-profile stockists including etailer Very.

The brand, created by rapper Jay-Z, has been gradually repositioning itself within Europe away from its more overt hip-hop-influenced style by adopting slimmer-fit denim, subtler branding and shorter top styles.

Daisy Laramy-Binks, director of marketing and creative at Iconix Europe - part of the group that acquired the rights to Rocawear in 2007 - said: “We are due to go live with Very at the beginning of May. There is absolutely no doubt that it is a direct result of the repositioning – a couple of years ago, the reaction to the brand was very different.”

Nev Schulman – star of film and TV series Catfish – follows model Zombie Boy and magician Dynamo as the new face of the brand, with Laramy-Binks saying he “absolutely encapsulates this sense of altered perception and surprise” .

On the back of its more mainstream menswear look, Rocawear is also readying a new-look footwear line for autumn 14, with Laramy-Binks saying it would be “a noticeable step forward”.

“The collection entirely hooks up to the apparel collection for autumn/winter both in terms of colour palette, prints, fabrics and branding,” she said. It will include hi-tops, mid-tops and sneakers in PU, faux ostrich and snake skin, perforated and holographic finishes. Iconix plans to target footwear specialists and indies as well as existing stockists with the range, the samples of which are due out shortly.

The womenswear launch is yet to be decided, although could be as early as next spring. Laramy-Binks said it would be “very much a case of men’s style cut for women” in response to press coverage from women’s magazines in which women have been styled in Rocawear’s men’s product.

She added: “It is early days to say [how big either division could grow to] at this point but I would hope to see both in several major retailers, either new or existing, by autumn 15.”

Rocawear, which is also expected to announce another major etail stockist shortly, is already available in House of Fraser and Burton.

There are no wholesale prices available for the womenswear collection yet, but for men’s it ranges from £8.28 for a T-shirt to £51.75 for a jacket.

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