Barackawear is one of the many election-themed clothing lines we received alerts about over these past few weeks. At first we thought, Wow, Jay-Z’s spinning his Rocawear brand and getting down with the vote! But turns out he’s not part of it at all (which is not to say Jay-Z isn’t getting down with the vote). The line was founded by brother-sister duo Brandon and Lori Broussard in 2007. They’ve sold more than 25,000 pieces of merchandise and are giving 25 percent of proceeds to the Obama campaign. And not only have they taken a cue from Jay’s line for the name, they also looked to Rock the Vote for inspiration, as you can see above. Since Rock the Vote is nonpartisan, the organization asked Barackawear to include a disclaimer on its site. But even though Barackawear’s name and the logo were inspired by Rocawear, no one’s playing copyright police.
It turns out the wife of a Rocawear spokesperson is best friends with Barackawear founder Lori, who used to style Ciara, who became the face of Rocawear womenswear in 2007. So it’s all in the family. A Rocawear spokesperson told us the company is “flattered” by the gesture. “[Lori] came up with something that’s clever to be opportunistic with what’s going on with the election. It’s flattering to a certain extent.” Would Jay-Z consider this copyright infringement? “I know he plans on voting for Barack, so I’m sure he wouldn’t oppose it. We’re not going to send them a cease-and-desist letter or anything like that. We’re a brand going on ten years; people aren’t mistaking us for them at all.” Plus, after today, Barackawear won’t have much longevity.