Style à la Hip-Hop Generation: The FUBU Home Collection

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With proven entrepreneurial flair and a knack for creating an eclectic urban aesthetic, FUBU, the hip urban clothing company, is now transforming bedrooms and bathrooms into fabulous showpieces with the launch of the FUBU Home Collection. The spring 2004 collection contains a multilevel product line of bedding, bath and beach products for the entire family. Bedding offers the consumer everything necessary to create a complete bed, including, shams, pillowcases, bed skirts, sheet sets, comforters, quilted blankets, chenille throws and decorative pillows.

“The Home Collection was launched two years ago, because we felt the marketplace was missing the styles and colors that we could bring to the table,” says Leslie Short, president of marketing for the Manhattan-based FUBU brand. “It is a natural extension for a collection to expand into home.”

Take FUBU’s bedding products for young adults. Each has its own unique look and feel. “Black Rider” for boys and “Pinky” for girls consist of denim, embellished twill, velour and nylon, with a heavy borrowing of details and resources from FUBU’s popular ready-to-wear collection, such as two-tone stitching and rivets from FUBU jeans on the denim beds. “Snorkel,” an olive green and orange collection, comes in a quilted nylon with the FUBU logo. For athletic kids, there’s “Warm-Up,” a mesh nylon and poly-filled comforter with racing stripes. A matching FUBU Athletics pillow is available in a football shape to complement the athletic feel.

For the true comfort of kings and queens, there’s “Velour,” inspired by your favorite velour sweatsuit with FUBU embroidery. Hip-looking throw pillows with pockets are available to mix and match.

The Home line, which is sold nationwide at Linens N’ Things and Bed, Bath and Beyond stores, has only been on the market for a couple of years but is proving that it has plenty of appeal from consumers who used to clamor for mainstream home lines like Martha Stewart and Tommy Hilfiger. “One of our best-selling bedding items is ‘Pinky,’ which is blue denim with a pink florescent sheen,” Short says. “Pinky stayed the No. 1-selling bed for approximately four months. That’s almost unheard of for a new line. It means we spoke not only to the parents, but also to the teens. As a collection we must capture the eye and pricing for parents, but have the style and color for teens.”

FUBU works with its licensees, who are experienced in home development and fabrication, to develop the collection’s vision each season. “We may design 12 new beds but only end up selling four,” Short says. Current bedding items cost anywhere from $150 for a “bed-in-a-bag” (a comforter and sham set that comes in an easy-to-carry bag) to $48 for bed skirts and pillows. Sheet sets run $36 and up.

The bath collection has shower curtains, tumblers and soap dishes, while the beach collection has a full line of terry and velour towels with fiber-reactive and pigment prints. FUBU founders Daymond John, Keith Perrin, Carl Brown and J. Alexander Martin continue to climb the fashion ranks as they build their brand into a global phenomenon. As the company continues to grow, so does its network of licensees. Licensed FUBU products to date include Platinum FUBU, ladies, footwear, loungewear, swimwear, dress shirts, ties, tuxedos, fragrance, children’s outerwear, handbags, socks, girls and boys sportswear and, most recently, eyewear.

But when it comes to distinguishing its home collection from the established brand names on the market, FUBU doesn’t stray from its design philosophy. “We use colors, fabrications and trims that you can presently see in our clothing line,” says Short. “The FUBU message is consistent in all the collections. There is a younger consumer who may not want flowers and paisley. We give them options.”