Sean “Diddy” Combs is unveiling Sean John’s debut women’s collaboration, a 117-piece collection with U.K. retailer Missguided, which will drop starting Sept. 29.
“We use the saying ‘If not now, when?’ So, when we were approached to collaborate on a women’s collection with Missguided, we took on that same attitude,” Combs shared exclusively with WWD of timing for its release. The entertainer and entrepreneur, who founded the brand in 1998 in his home city of New York, has released past women’s wear collections, but this marks his first partnership in the category.
“For 20-plus years, Sean John has taken a stance to motivate and aspire our consumers,” Combs added. “Like Missguided, we stand on the principles of empowerment, and we knew immediately that they would be the right partner for Sean John to launch this collection. Most important, we know when you empower women, you empower the world.”
That woman is represented by 29-year-old American rapper Bia, born Bianca Landrau, who was tapped for the campaign. She falls right into Missguided’s target demographic, teens to thirtysomethings.
“I think the Sean John and Missguided partnership is brilliant and so classic,” noted the rising music artist. “It is a collection that I feel comfortable in and confident wearing. This shoot was so fun and natural.”
The visuals are a throwback to the Nineties and early Aughts. And Bia brings to mind the late Aaliyah in some shots, sporting a cropped tank paired with baggy, light-washed jeans that reveal an underwear waistband plastered with Sean John’s familiar logo. In another, Bia personifies hip-hop fashion in a matching purple, velour tracksuit. Consumers can also expect puffer jackets, oversize T-shirts, hoodies, bodycon minidresses, bodysuits and accessories like bucket hats, priced between $22 and $152 on Missguided.com.
“The first drop is being labeled the classics and really sees us take inspiration from some of the hero pieces from Sean John’s men’s collections from the early 2000s,” said Missguided’s founder and chief executive officer Nitin Passi. “In the subsequent drops, we will add more categories and look to push the fashion boundaries a bit further as well as react and maximize to what our customer has bought into the most.”
The fast-fashion company, which offers plus-size options, has launched several past collections with other brands, including Playboy. The partnership with Sean John reflects the heart of Missguided’s product strategy, Passi said. It’s to bring “customers new and exciting collaborations that they relate to and uniquely represent” the brand.
“Sean John is iconic,” Passi continued. “A brand with a history in hip-hop culture that hasn’t had a women’s wear collaboration before. That’s why it was a personal target for me, and I’ve been relentlessly focused on securing it for some time. Once we got a foot in the door and a meeting with their ceo and team, we came together quickly. We were aligned on the vision and potential of what this collaboration could offer.”
Of adapting to the pandemic this year, he added: “We’ve worked hard to make sure COVID-19 doesn’t get in the way of our progress. I’m not minimizing the various challenges, like all businesses, that we’ve had to address — and we’ve done that well — but there’s been a strong customer movement toward online. That means, more than ever, our role is to work even harder to bring our customer the kind of inspiration she wants. That’s what this collaboration does.”
Best of WWD
Sign up for WWD’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.