In 1994, Mecca in the US broke into the fashion market while rap music was making its own wing. The timing proved right for both of them. Mecca clothing quickly became a wardrobe staple for rappers and urban youth who looked to these artists for inspiration. Instead of trying to make clothes that work for the office, evening, or other areas; The brand has firmly established itself as the line representing sports, casual and streetwear.
The driving force behind Mecca USA was Mike Alisco and Tony Shilman. Mike Alessko is well-known in the fashion industry, with not only Mecca clothing brand but International News, the Seattle-based company that would later spawn Mecca. Tony Schellman is a hip-hop fashion innovator who also co-founded Encye clothing line and Parish Nation. Their clothing line takes design inspiration from the birthplace of hip-hop music, New York City.
With New York City as their fashion inspiration, the line has taken a strong, raw edge, giving wearers an instant look that makes a statement. The line rapidly evolved into the “uniform” for inner-city youth. By the end of the decade, Mecca’s appeal in the United States was not limited to the Medina crowd. Instead, a growing number of suburban youth were looking to the mecca of the United States as a way to express themselves and get to know the rappers they wanted to emulate.
The brand has made its way into malls and department stores, catching the attention of those who previously would only buy major brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Ralph Lauren. Over the years, many celebrities have worn the line including. Mecca clothing has expanded its base, making its way to Europe, Asia and all over the world.
Mecca in the USA has always been focused on wearing jeans. Originally only offering men’s designs, such as unique pocket baggy jeans, trendy foil print T-shirts and high quality hoodies. Bomber jackets, airbrushed shirts, and polo shirts were also popular. Today, Mecca in the United States has expanded its audience with clothes that suit both girls and women. The girls’ line is called Makkah Girls and features sequins, rhinestones, skirts, tops, pants, and outerwear, among other things. However, the company’s most successful extension has been Mecca Fam.
Introduced in 2002, Mecca Femme is all about the latest innovation. Blending urban streetwear with upscale looks and European inspirations, creating a unique look that urban fans also flock to. The Mecca jeans are popular with men, and the Mecca femme is similarly bent on that front with the women.
The Mecca Femme Jeans feature a cotton and spandex blend to create a silhouette that hugs and flatters. The jeans quickly became a favorite among urban women as they fit curvier body types. Female celebrities also quickly 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. Making their clothing affordable and keeping consumers loyal and coming back for more. Despite the low prices, quality has always been a major part of the brands identity. High quality materials are used to showcase screen printing, prints, special stitch treatments, foiled logos and other signature motifs.
Makkah Clothing paved the way for other hip-hop-related brands such as Sean John, Rocawear, Academex, Fat Farm, and Echo. From the beginning, Mecca has been firmly rooted in the hip hop industry and there still is a cult following of Mecca among those seeking attention for streetwear.