Kontrol Homme Report: New Year, New Milli – Jay Z’s Barney’s Collection

Not that we expected otherwise, but the new year is already off to an amazing start for the Carter family. The music industry and loyal fans continue buzzing about Beyonce’s groundbreaking visual album; and now, it’s Jay Z‘s turn to make headlines. His holiday collaboration with Barney’s New York, which launched amidst controversy after last year’s racial profiling scandals, has officially hit the million dollar mark. Sales for the collection, entitled A New York Holiday, came to a close last Friday, January 3rd, wrapping up a two-month holiday run at Barney’s locations across the country and online.

Despite its success, there seems to have been more criticisms than praises for the collection, with fans and industry voices sharing their opinions on the fact that much of the merchandise was ridiculously priced (several items reached outlandish price points of over a thousand dollars, like the Shawn Carter by Hublot watch that ticketed at $34k) and assertions that he sold out after the discrimination investigations at the New York boutiques went underway. It’s pretty clear that Jay Z’s sights are on business and green more than accessibility or any racial “obligations” that outsiders may be trying to push on him, but the brightest element of this collaboration was in its benefit to the community. 100% of the profits go to the Shawn Carter Foundation, providing funds for underprivileged students to pursue a college education. Furthermore, Barney’s pledged to match 10% of the store’s profits from the first day of sales. Although the collection appears to have been geared toward the 1%, we’ll just look at it as a fundraising opportunity for our future scholars. Congratulations to Jay Z on another successful project and here’s to more game-changing moves in 2014.

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