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GQ Magazine’s website posted the headline today, “Exclusive: Jay-Z Buys Billionaire Boys Club“…sending music and streetwear fans into a tizzy:

“GQ has learned that as of today, Jay-Z’s fashion house, Rocawear, owns the licensing to manufacture and distribute Billionaire Boys Club. Sources say that Jay-Z and Pharrell, the current face and force behind BBC, will work as a tandem—utilizing Jay-Z’s business prowess and Pharrell’s creativity…”

But the problem with “exclusives” is that sometimes the earliest birds run off with half a worm. And in this instance, that headline misnames the worm completely, even though the story isn’t all wrong. (by the way, I’m not immune to “exclusive” errors. When Swizz told me about his wedding, I was first to report it, but said it was in Sardinia, where he was partying. The actual ceremony was in Corsica.) Within an hour, Jay-Z tweeted a message to refute the GQ headline:

“Partnering with @4real4rell on BBC” follow him.. (Not “buying” as GQ erroneously reported.)

Unusually reactive for Mr. Carter, right? But that speaks to his friendship with Pharrell and the fact that he does not want this deal to look like a ‘takeover’ (*groan*)…

Since the Star Trak/Billionaire Boys Club team are like family…I reached out to clear up some of the misconceptions…

After the jump

Rocawear (one part of the Iconix Group, which also owns Starter, Candies, London Fog, Fieldcrest sheets, etc.) is “licensing” Billionaire Boys Club, meaning they will make and distribute BBC’s products, with Pharrell retaining creative control. In the past, BBC did all the manufacturing and distribution by itself, with some initial help from Pharrell’s friend and mentor Nigo/A Bathing Ape.

Jay-Z and Pharrell are prepping a formal announcement that we’ll post as soon as it’s ready, but in the meantime, all the fashion business folks I’ve talk to agree that a larger licensing deal sets BBC up to fulfill its potential as a stand-alone brand, where in the past it’s been more of a limited edition pet project. There may be significant expansion within the line, and in terms of retail availability. But with Pharrell, the designers, and their home team at work…the Billionaire Boys Club design aesthetic that so many others have copied will stay intact. There will just be a lot more of it ; )

Sidebar: I’m not sure if P is campaigning for some Forbes record, but in the past few months, he started curating at Karmaloop, marketing brands with Rob Stone from Cornerstone, opening up youth centers in Virginia Beach, launching Qream liqueurs with Diageo, changed the name of his label to “i am Other” and now this?! He’s on fire. I actually hope that this Rocawear partnership frees up Pharrell, Loic, Phillip, the BBC Blog, and the rest of his crew to do even more special projects on the art and design end (like chairs with sex legs ; ).

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