BREAKFAST WITH THE BOSS: ROCAWEAR

Ronnie DeMichael – COO, Rocawear

Tues July 24, 2012

Key Messages and Notes from Breakfast with Ronnie:

• In its heyday, Rocawear led the urban culture movement and took business away from Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. With Jay-Z behind the brand, the company made $6 million, then $60 million, then $120 million in its first three years. In 2007 Iconix acquired the brand for $240 million.

• The Rocawear customer is a 25-40 year old guy. How he dresses is that he starts off with sneakers, then builds up to jeans, then belt, shirt – and everything is Rocawear. With the recession, the business is more price point driven. He might get a t-shirt, hat, but not jeans.

• It’s very important that the clothes match the latest sneakers from Nike and Adidas.

• As the COO and CFO of Rocawear, Ronnie handles the day to day operations – making sure everything is on time. His day involves solving challenging problems on a daily basis.

• In licensing, it’s important to choose the right partners. Some people do things a lot better than others.

• Private labels were the new thing in the 80s – and prices were lowered.

• “Be self-motivated.”

• “Know when you have to leave a job – you have to enjoy what you do, as well as be successful.”

• “Learn to navigate, and mediate between, different types of personalities.”

Notes Compliments of Maggie Jiang

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