“Live Alone Die Alone”
Very few fashion brands have been able to make as great a cultural and societal impact as Vlone has.
Created as a fashion and lifestyle offshoot of the famous A$AP MOB, the brand is heavily influenced by the street cred and culture of Harlem.
A$AP Bari, whose real name is Sheldon Jabari is the one who is the networking and brainchild of the brand.
He created the brand with help from the other member, A$AP Rocky. CLOT Founder, Edison Chen was the third member behind the Vlone brand.
In a very short time, the brand has created a cult following, selling out collections in seconds, creating mega collaborations with Nike, and having a full show on the Paris Fashion Week in 2017.
In this article, we are going to look very briefly at the history of the brand, why has it become so popular and what can you expect from the brand in 2020.
Vlone: History of the Brand
Vlone is one of those brands, which became a sensation purely because of its social media buzz. The brand formally came into existence in 2013, on social media platforms. A$AP MOB has already become a huge name in rap, music, hip hop, and street culture.
A$AP MOB was a collection of the finest artists, which owe their origin to the troubled streets of Harlem. The music collective brought together singers, writers, producers, performers, and fashion designers. Its aim was to represent Harlem from the cross-section of music, arts, and fashion.
While A$AP Rocky was the face of the brand, showcasing Vlone’s t-shirts, hoodies, jeans, and other merchandise, Chen was the designer executing the work. A$AP Bari or Shelton was the business brains of the project.
The brand launched its first clothing line in 2014. They followed a strategy of tying up with eCommerce platforms and launching small and limited-edition collections. This helped in keeping up the interests and charging a premium for the merchandise.
How Vlone Rose to being a Successful Streetwear Brand?
The year was 2014 and A$AP Rocky recently launched the controversial new song, ‘Riot Rave’. It was the popularity of the song, which catapulted Vlone into being one of the coolest, trendiest, and hippest brands in the world.
The vlone friends hoodie, t-shirts, and other merchandise started flying off the shelves. Following the success and the rising demand, the brand looked to really go mainstream. They started holding small experimental pop-ups in different cities.
These were often announced via social media at very short notice. With limited stocks and thousands of buyers, collections sold out within minutes. People also started reselling merchandise at 3x times the value on eBay and Reddit!
In 2017, Vlone took its biggest leap of faith when it held a solo show on the Paris Fashion Week. By this time, it had already established itself in the United States. However, the brand started harboring global ambitions. The Paris show was a resounding success.
The Nike X Vlone Collaboration of 2016
Vlone started working with Nike in late 2015. In early 2016, they started teasing the new and collaboration on social media platforms. The Nike X Vlone Air Force 1s were the hottest release of the year.
Vlone’s signature orange and black color scheme on an upper leather Nike Air Force 1 was a resounding success. Vlone was also slowly improving its popularity among the youth by having popups in some of the world’s biggest cities including LA, Tokyo, and New York.
The Vlone Air Force 1s were the kicks that everyone wanted their hands on. When it was first released in 2017, a pair came in roughly around the $2000 USD mark. However, in a very short span of time, it acquired a collectible status with some original pairs selling for as much as $20000 in 2020!
The collection extended beyond just the shoes and resulted in jackets, jeans, and trousers.
What was the reason for Vlone’s Success as a Fashion Brand?
Vlone did not want to present itself as a Supreme in any way. The brand was all about being true and staying true to the streets of Harlem. It acquired a cult following among rappers, skateboarders, and hip-hop artists.
It was a clothing representation of Harlem and everything it stood for- people, culture, history, etc. One of the main reasons for the brand’s success is that it was able to create curiosity and buzz for its clothing and apparel lines.
It did not go in for too many collaborations and tried to distance itself from creating a mainstream brand. This played well with the audiences who loved the discreet street cred appeal of Vlone. The brand continues to grow popular despite A$AP Bari coming into trouble with the law.
The Final Word
In the next few years, the brand looks to establish its reputation as a serious fashion brand. While it continues to create the much loved vlone friends hoodie, t-shirts, headwear, jeans, etc. it is also slowly expanding into high street fashion.
In a very short span of its existence, the brand has been able to see and experience everything. From a sold-out Paris, Fashion Week show to a record-breaking Nike collaboration. It has also seen A$AP MOB members falling out, leaving the brand and newer members coming back in.
Vlone continues to be a refreshing change in the world of streetwear fashion. While many fashion brands have come and gone within this decade, Vlone continues to hold its own. The brand’s USP is definitely its unique designs, its mercurial ambassadors, and its roots with the world of Harlem. If you are lucky to get your hands on Vlone merchandise, you should hold on to it…