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Music Artists' Streetwear Lines Struggle As CD Sales Slide

With record sales plummeting and hip-hop's popularity on the wane, many music artists' lines are struggling. Part of the reason may be that hip-hop had to become more mainstream in order to grow -- focusing less and less on urban specialty stores and more on department stores such as Macy's and Dillard's. That, in turn, alienated those consumers who wore it because the look was considered to be cutting edge.

Once-notorious rappers like LL Cool J now are doing collections for retailers like Sears, which will introduce an LL Cool J-branded junior, young men's and children's wear for back-to-school selling. And even at their height, these brands often wrestled with the "urban" identification, fearing it would turn off consumers, and insisting on being called "streetwear."

In the women's category, brands like Baby Phat, Southpole, Akademiks and Apple Bottoms continue as top labels in the junior market. Their secrets of success are clear -- they've evolved with their customers, integrated themselves into the mix of other junior brands in department stores and changed with the trends.



Read the whole story at Women's Wear Daily »

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