Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs the man saves Sean John the brand from bankruptcy

Image via Scott Gries/Getty Images

Sean “Diddy” Combs, rapper, producer, and top vodka salesman, has repurchased a majority stake in his 2k era clothing brand Sean John.

The brand was ultra-popular in the early 2000s and was instantly recognizable with its velour tracksuits, baggy shirts, jeans, and terry cloth headbands. Celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Nelly were often seen wearing the brand in its heyday.

Part of the line’s signature look was the name Sean John plastered across the front, which made it easy to recognize.

Now, Combs says it’s time to “write the next chapter” of the clothing company.

“I launched Sean John in 1998 with the goal of building a premium brand that shattered tradition and introduced Hip Hop to high-fashion on a global scale,” Combs said in a public statement on Tuesday. “Seeing how streetwear has evolved to rewrite the rules of fashion and impact culture across categories, I’m ready to reclaim ownership of the brand.” 

Combs won back his majority stake in the company after selling 90 percent of it in 2016 to Global Brand Groups (GBG) when the company’s retail sales were around $450 million annually. GBG filed for bankruptcy in July.

It cost Combs $7.55 million to save the company from going bankrupt, and although other companies bid for the brand, his offer was successful. The transaction will be official after a telephone hearing on Dec. 22 with a bankruptcy judge in New York.

SLC Fashion LLC, a company associated with Combs, previously attempted to buy GBG out of bankruptcy with a stalking-horse bid, meaning Combs got the initial bid for the bankrupt company’s assets that other bids must outdo, of $3.3 million.

The road to the buyout has been fairly rocky. Earlier this year, Combs sued GBG after it teamed up with U.K. retailer Missguided to sell the brand. Combs said Global Brands wasn’t allowed to use the term
Vote or Die” on clothing, because he trademarked the phrase and people would think he was still in control of the brand.

When GBG filed for bankruptcy, Combs dropped the lawsuit.

Sean John was a cinderella story, reaching the highest highs of the fashion industry with Combs at the helm. His 2001 New York Fashion Week show was the first televised runway ever, and he also won the Council of Fashion Designers America (CFDA) menswear designer of the year award in 2004. Previous winners include Tom Ford and Michael Kors.

Combs, who rose to prominence as a producer and operator of the record label Bad Boy, has an estimated net worth of $740 million. He has numerous successful business ventures, including DeLeón tequila, Ciroc vodka, and Revolt TV and Media.