Monday Fashion Feature: "Brand Profile: Rocksmith"

AllHipHop Staff

Rocksmith Tokyo is Japanese street couture blended with New York City swagger.

The brand launched with The Lifestyle Entertainment Company in 2002, on the Tokyo club circuit.

Rocksmith has since partnered up with the NYC based Kilo International to take it worldwide.

Jay-Z in the Notorious 81 Tee by Rocksmith recently got a chance to find out more about Rocksmith through an interview Erik Marino, a partner in the company - check it out below.

AllHipHop: - Rocksmith originated as a streetwear brand in Tokyo, Japan. Japanese streetwear can sometimes be very "out there" compared to more the more conservative American style - what do you think helped Rocksmith translate to the U.S. with such success?

Erik - Being a music/lifestyle driven collection relates to like minded individuals. The brand is not held to national borders because the design mimics the rebellion of a subculture. Technology made it possible. In the same way that it spread music worldwide, it spread Rocksmith. It also helps that half of our team is based in NYC.

Diddy having a good time in his Rocksmith tee

AllHipHop:- Can you give us a sneak peek into the Fall 2009 collection? What are some of the concepts behind it?

Erik - This fall is titled “Flashback to the Future.” We draw inspiration from the primary colors and mood of the 90s but present it in a futuristic manner. We had fun with this delivery. We holed up in the design studio, cranked the "Funk Flex 90s mix", drank mad Redbull and went in. The graphics are straight conversation starters. Our goal is to make the clothing that will get the ladies to comment. Then you’re in, game begin. Call us matchmakers.

AllHipHop:- What are some of the most exciting and successful collaborations you've done up to this point? Do you have any coming up?

Erik - In the past we have collaborated with many of our friend brands like Undercrown, Masterpeice, Swagger and Crooks & Castles, primarily because it was fun.We did a tee collaboration with The Source Magazine as well, this sick Eazy-E stained glass window design that David Banner rocked in a video. Last week we dropped a two tshirt set collabo with Black Star (yup, Mos Def and Talib Kweli) to commemorate their reunion concert on May 30th. We have a few things cooking with Manhattan Portage, Salomon Snowboards and some more music related stuff.

AllHipHop:- In a time where the economy is in a rough state, how is Rocksmith coping in the U.S.? Being worldwide, where is the brand most popular?

Erik - In the U.S. we are doing good. Rocksmith is about the party, the good vibe, and that’s what people want to feel right now. We keep the brand select and the items limited so people know that they will be unique in our clothing. If we were a super corporate company I’m sure the economy would be hurting us more than it is. Japan and USA are where Rocksmith is most popular but the brand has serious momentum in Europe right now.

AllHipHop:- Tell us about your new premium denim line.

Erik - The denim we are dropping this delivery is next level with some experimental concepts mixed in like aluminum washes. We are offering our widest selection to date, from raw to washed, slim to relaxed fits. In teaming up with one of Japan’s premier denim houses we were able to really bring a high level of quality at good prices. Be on the lookout for the "White Leather Mixtape" this fall as a denim signature.

Rocksmith is now available on - check out a few of the latest styles:

Notorious 81 Tee by Rocksmith

Street Dreams Tee by Rocksmith

Rok Tee by Rocksmith