Although Jay-Z’s success is well-documented, boasting a resume that includes companies like Roc Nation and the 40/40 Club, not all his businesses are doing so well. Specifically, his once popular Rocawear clothing brand.
According to the New York Post, the hip-hop mogul recently laid off 28 of the company’s 56 member staff, citing “economic” reasons in court documents filed with the New York State Department of Labor.
Although the bad economy can be blamed for the slip in annual sales, a source tells the paper that Jay — once a “big presence” at Rocawear’s office — rarely shows up any more.
The source went as far as saying that “it’s kind of like he’s given up on the brand.”
Rocawear was launched by in 1999 by Jay-Z and his former business partner, Damon Dash. After their fallout, Jay acquired Dash’s stake in the company for a reported $30 million. Two years later, Jay-Z sold the company to Iconix Brand Group for $204 million in cash. As part of the deal, Jay remained a shareholder and in charge of product development, marketing and licensing.
While he retains an interest in the company, his contractual obligations to the brand have expired, said the NY Post. He’s since refused to promote the brand as sales have steadily decline.
“Jay-Z doesn’t do anything without getting paid a lot of money — a lot more than Rocawear is generating,” the insider told the paper.
The massive layoff came one day before Jay’s wife Beyonce gave birth to their first child.
Reps for Rocawear and/or Iconix have yet to comment.