Russell Simmons has always been ahead of the curve when it comes to the direction of hip-hop. The co-founder of Def Jam Records helped mold the culture of hip-hop into a viable industry during the '80s but spent the '90s pushing the boundaries of what hip-hop was viewed as with his first major expansion being a clothing line named Phat Farm.
Launched in 1992, the brand was birthed after Simmons partnered up with a Soho shop owner named Marc Bagutta. He then hired two former graffiti artists turned inexperienced fashion designers. Raking in $2 million in sales during its first year of operation, Phat Farm was quickly picked up by specialty stores and boutiques across the country. It soon became one of the more popular clothing lines catered to the hip-hop crowd. While Phat Farm's success would be eclipsed in the face of steady competition, it's standing as one of the influential brands to the hip-hop community is far from understated.