Daymond JohnA success story, an industry leader, a young entrepreneur, a man who has reached and surpassed new heights of commercial and financial success -- just some of the classifications used to describe Daymond John. Over the last 19 years, John has evolved into one of the most successful fashion icons in business today. Known as the "Godfather of Urban Fashion," he is also regarded one of the most sought after branding experts and motivational speakers in the country.
John's creative vision helped revolutionize the sportswear industry in the 1990s. As founder, president and chief executive officer of FUBU -- "For Us, By Us" -- he created distinctive and fashionable sportswear and a host of related gear. FUBU's phenomenal success made mainstream apparel companies realize the potential for fashionable sportswear that appeals not just to trendsetting urban youth but to mainstream teens as well. In addition, John owns and operates several other clothing brands.
John was born in the New York City borough of Brooklyn but spent his childhood in the Hollis neighborhood of Queens during the 1970s. An only child, he grew up in a single-parent household headed by his mother, a flight attendant for American Airlines who often held more than one job. John's first foray into the apparel market came when he wanted a tie-top hat and was put off by the price. He began making the distinctive tie-top hats in the morning and then selling them on the streets of Queens in the evening hours. He and his friend sold $800 worth of hats and realized their ideas had definite potential. They created a distinctive logo and began sewing the FUBU logo on hockey jerseys, sweatshirts and t-shirts. John lured some longtime friends into the business and asked his old neighborhood friend, L.L. Cool J., to wear a t-shirt in a photograph for a FUBU promotional campaign in 1993.
John and his mother mortgaged the home they collectively owned for $100,000 in start-up capital. Soon the home was turned into a makeshift factory and office space. FUBU officially launched in 1992 when John and his partners traveled to an industry trade show in Las Vegas. Buyers liked the distinctively cut, vibrantly-colored sportswear; John and his partners returned to Queens with $300,000 worth of orders. FUBU soon had a contract with the New York City-based department store chain Macy's, and they began expanding their line to include jeans and outerwear. A distribution deal with Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung allowed their designs to be manufactured and delivered on a massive scale. As CEO and President, John guided FUBU to a staggering $350 million in revenues in 1998, placing it in the same stratosphere as such designer sportswear labels as Donna Karan New York and Tommy Hilfiger.
In the world of marketing, John is often called a branding genius. Fortune 500 Companies flock to him for advice and consultation, so much so that he has formed a branding corporation, Shark Branding, separate from his diverse apparel businesses. Shark Branding handles the high demand for his advice on branding, product placement and marketing. John has perfected the methods to get companies, brands and products ingrained into the social consciousness. Using product integration, sponsorships and unique events, Shark Branding organically advertises products in the hottest music videos, on the most popular television shows, and with the most influential celebrities.
John's newest book, The Brand Within: How We Brand Ourselves, from Birth to the Boardroom, is the second nonfiction book in the best-selling Display of Power series. The Brand Within examines the loyalty of relationships companies seek to establish by attaching celebrities to their brands and the instantaneous impulses consumers exhibit when purchasing a product.
In his first book, Display of Power: How FUBU Changed a World of Fashion, Branding and Lifestyle, which was named one of the Best Business Books of 2007 by the Library Journal, John relays the story of his awe inspiring journey and provides a roadmap for those who aspire to succeed in business and in life.
In recognition of his contributions to fashion and the face of American business, John has been recognized as Brandweek Marketer of the Year (1999), and honored with the Advertising Age Marketing 1000 Award for Outstanding Ad Campaign (1999), NAACP Entrepreneur of the Year Award (1999), Crain's Business of Forty Under Forty Award (2002) and Ernst & Young's New York Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2003). In 1999 FUBU the Collection became the first recipient of the first ESSENCE Achievement Award given to a company. In addition, FUBU was a 2007 finalist for Inc. Magazine's Entrepreneur of the Year Award.?
HOMETOWN Hollis, Queens, NY
BIRTHDATE February 26