- Getty/Bennett Raglin
Under Armour has hired Rakim Mayers, better known as A$AP Rocky, to be the new face of its athleisure brand.
As part of a multiplatform deal that was announced on Twitter, the rapper will collaborate with the brand on his own line of clothing under the premium Under Armour Sportswear, which is the purview of designer Tim Coppens.
Under Armour will also work with Mayers on philanthropic endeavours, like renovating and launch community centers designed to serve at-risk youth. Baltimore, Los Angeles, and New York will be the initial cities the partnership with focus on.
“I grew up in Harlem, and had limited resources to channel my inner-creativity, so I spent too much time on the streets when I should have been more productive,” Mayers said in a statement. “I now have the ability to create a better situation for today’s kids so they can go from school to a safe place to create without boundaries.”
Todd Montesano, head of partnerships at Under Armour, called the collaboration “a first for Under Armour” in a statement.
The partnership is one of the highest profile lifestyle collaborations Under Armour has yet embarked on. The brand typically focuses on signing athletes. Though they do have deals with non-sports personas like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Misty Copeland, this is the first partnership focused on improving Under Armour’s image and making the brand more “fashion” – a stated goal of CEO Kevin Plank.
Mayers previously worked with rival Adidas on collaborations for its Originals lifestyle brand.
Lifestyle personalities are becoming an increasingly hot commodity in the sportswear sphere as athlete’s cultural influence fades. The most notable of which is Kanye West, who famously switched from Nike to Adidas to create his Yeezy line of shoes and sportswear.
— Under Armour (@UnderArmour) September 15, 2017