In 1994, Mecca USA broke into the fashion market, while rap music was also gaining ground. The timing turned out to be fortuitous for both of them. Mecca Clothing quickly became a wardrobe staple for hip hop rappers and urban youth who looked to these artists for inspiration. Instead of trying to create garments that suit the office, night, or other areas; the brand has firmly established itself as the line that represents sports, casual and streetwear.
The driving force behind Mecca USA was Mike Alesko and Tony Shellman. Mike Alesko is well known in the fashion industry, he not only created the Mecca Clothing brand, but also International News, the Seattle-based company that would go on to spawn Mecca. Tony Shellman is a hip-hop fashion innovator who also co-founded Encye and the Parish Nation clothing line. His clothing line was inspired by the design of the birthplace of hip-hop, New York City.
With New York City as its fashion muse, the line took on a raw, rough edge, giving wearers a look that makes an instant statement. The line quickly became the “uniform” for inner-city youth. By the end of the decade, Mecca USA’s appeal was not limited to the city’s public. Instead, an increasing number of suburban youth looked to Mecca USA as a way to express themselves and identify with the rap musicians they wanted to emulate.
The brand found its way into shopping malls and major department stores, attracting the attention of those who had previously only been shopping for major brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren. Over the years, numerous celebrities have worn the line, including. Mecca clothing expanded its base, making its way into Europe, Asia and around the world.
Mecca USA has always focused on denim clothing. Originally, it only offered designs for men, such as designer single-pocket baggy jeans, trendy foil print t-shirts, and premium hoodies. Reversible jackets, airbrushed t-shirts and polo shirts were also popular. Today, Mecca USA has further expanded its audience with clothing suitable for girls and women. The line for girls is called Mecca Girls and features sequins, rhinestones, skirts, blouses, pants and outerwear, among other items. However, the most successful extension of the company has been Mecca Femme.
Introduced in 2002, Mecca Woman is all about cutting-edge innovation. A mix of urban streetwear with haute couture looks and European inspiration, creating a unique look that women who are fans of urban clothing also flock to. Mecca jeans are popular with men and Mecca Femme has similarly bet on this field with women.
Mecca Femme brand jeans feature a blend of cotton and spandex to create a nice, figure-hugging silhouette. Jeans have quickly become a favorite among urban women because they fit curvier body types. Female celebrities also flocked to buy them.
Unlike other hip hop clothing lines that rely on high prices to show their “quality”, Mecca USA has always been affordable. Make your clothing accessible to everyone and keep consumers loyal and coming back for more. Although prices are low, quality has always been an important part of brand identity. High-quality materials are used to showcase screen prints, embossing, special stitch treatments, laminated logos, and other unique looks.
Mecca Clothing has paved the way for other hip hop related brands like Sean John, Rocawear, Akademiks, Phat Farm and Ecko. From the beginning, Mecca has been firmly entrenched in the hip hop industry and there is still a cult following for Mecca USA among those looking to turn heads in streetwear.