Daymond John

Daymond John

Founder and CEO of FUBU; Star of ABC's Shark Tank; CEO of Shark Branding and New York Times Best-Selling Author

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Hip-hop fashion designer Daymond John, founder and CEO of clothing label FUBU, was born in Brooklyn, New York, of Caribbean parents. Growing up in Queens, New York, John’s entrepreneurial talents were exhibited at an early age; he sold everything from pencils to reconditioned cars.

Upon graduating from high school, John worked as a waiter at Red Lobster before getting his start in the clothing industry. In 1992, from his mother’s basement in Queens, John began making hats to sell at concerts and neighborhood festivals. Encouraged by his early success, John recruited his childhood friends, Alexander Martin, Carl Brown, and Keith Perrin, to work with him; they began sewing tie-top hats. John set up shop at his mother’s house, taking out a $100,000 mortgage. This was the beginning of FUBU, an acronym for For Us, By Us. FUBU’s collection later expanded to include hockey jerseys, t-shirts, and baseball caps, all embroidered with the FUBU label.

With early support from John’s friend, entertainer LL Cool J, FUBU quickly became one of the leading urban clothing lines, setting fashion trends for young African Americans. However, FUBU’s popularity soon extended beyond the inner city, from suburban malls in the Midwest to Russian Internet sites, making it a true international powerhouse.

In 1997, John created the FUBU Foundation, which raised $1 million annually. Building on the success of FUBU The Collection, John expanded his business empire with the launch in 2000 of FUBU Entertainment. FUBU sportswear also gained a sizable following of professional athletes. It was FUBU Sportswear that sponsored Nienhouse Motorsports for the 1999 Indianapolis 500. In 2002, FUBU began outfitting the Harlem Globetrotters. John also launched y2g.com as a Web portal to target the untapped market of African Americans on the Internet.

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“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captiva ...
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~ Marion Sanford, Director, University of Mary Washington
~ Marion Sanford, Director, University of Mary Washington

“I want to extend my heartfelt “thank you” for all you did in helping us host Ms. April Ryan as our 2018 MLK, Jr. keynote speaker. Ms. Ryan was absolutely amazing last night!! She was captivating, insightful, and delivered a powerful message with words of hope, love, and a call to action to the audience. They were utterly enthralled by her presence and presentation.

I would like to also add that I thoroughly enjoyed the pleasure of meeting Ms. Ryan. She was so personable, pleasant, down-to-earth and very gracious and accommodating with the guests. She was patient with each question and stayed until every person had their book signed or picture taken. I would not hesitate to have her visit our campus again. I was so impressed and grateful for her contributions to our campus community in this role, but even more so for the work and accomplishments she is making in journalism, politics, and keeping integrity in the profession.

Lastly, I would like to acknowledge the wonderful and professional work of Ms. Kim Lowery in her role in ensuring a positive and successful program. She was thorough in providing the details of the travel itinerary and ensured that we had all the information necessary in preparation for Ms. Ryan’s visit. It was a pleasure working with her on this engagement.

Thank you again for the work you do and the rewarding collaborations we enjoy with your agency. I look forward to future interactions.”

“Meeting you both today was a great experience for me and my career development! I learned so much and truly valued your expertise, insight and probing questions. You really got my wheels turning an ...
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~ A. Gordon, Corporate Executive
~ A. Gordon, Corporate Executive

“Meeting you both today was a great experience for me and my career development! I learned so much and truly valued your expertise, insight and probing questions. You really got my wheels turning and focused solely on the success of building my brand. As I mentioned, this was a new experience for me and it was a great opportunity to be ultra successful in 2015! As I recap my notes, I just wanted to send you a note of sincere thanks.”

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