When the Wu-Tang Clan descended on the rap game with their 1993 debut album, Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), few people foresaw the impact the crew would have on hip-hop culture.
Aside from revolutionizing how artists are introduced to the public and pioneering the use of a rap group as an incubator for solo talent, The Wu also helped usher in the trend of rappers creating their own clothing lines to sell to the public.
Founded by Oli "Power" Grant, the brand was launched in 1995. The childhood friend of Wu-Tang opened Wu-Wear stores in New York City, Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Norfolk, Virginia, pulling in an estimated $10 million in 1998. While Wu members like Method Man, who admitted to not being fond of the commercialization of the Wu brand, were less than enthusiastic about the venture, Wu-Wear was a game-changer and paved the road for the avalanche of artist-inspired clothing lines that would infiltrate hip-hop over the subsequent years.