On Monday, news broke that 15-year-old streetwear retailer Karmaloop was forced to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after falling into millions of dollars worth of debt. The online destination stocked hundreds of brands, including Billionaire Boys Club, New Balance and Dimepiece LA, and gave up-and-coming labels in the streetwear space a platform to sell their wares inside its Kazbah marketplace.
As soon as word started to spread about Karmaloop's dire straits, rumors began to swirl that fashion enthusiast Kanye West and entrepreneur Damon (aka Dame) Dash (Jay Z's former manager and partner at Roc-a-Fella Records) were interested in purchasing the site. Turns out, they were true. Through a series of Instagram videos posted on Dash's account on Thursday, the newly minted business partners announced that the Karmaloop deal is done. In the caption, Dash shouted out publications like WWD, Vogue, The New York Times and Vanity Fair, which suggests that the duo is looking to take the site in a more fashion-forward direction.
West and Dash tell fans not to expect any music or "bubble gum shit" from this new venture, though there's little mention of what their plans are for the site, which averages about 4 million unique visitors per month according to the Boston Globe. Considering West's recent collection for Adidas (which topped Style.com's list of the most viewed collections of fall 2015), his presence in the front rows at Fashion Month and his support of labels like Off-White and Vetements, Karmaloop will likely remain a go-to destination for hard-to-find streetwear brands, with West's valuable seal of approval.
The rapper has also expressed his desire to bring fashion to the masses, so could Karmaloop become the exclusive stockist for an affordable, West-designed collection? Watch this space.