Besides music, a big part of his brand is fashion. In fact, one of the things Ne-Yo is known for are his fedora hats. In 2011, Ne-Yo launched a hat line called Francis Ellargo. Unlike many celebrity inspired or owned fashion lines, Ne-Yo is completely hands-on with the brand even though he admits itâ€™s been a challenging experience.
â€śItâ€™s a learning experience. I donâ€™t know much about retail. Iâ€™m in the process of learning about working with manufacturers,” said Ne-Yo.
Despite his learning curve, Ne-Yo knows what heâ€™s looking for when it comes to the hats heâ€™s offering which caused a rift in the beginning.
â€śManufacturers would tell me that theyâ€™ve been doing this for awhile,â€ť said Ne-Yo. â€śBut my name is on it, and if it doesnâ€™t look the way I want it to, Iâ€™m going to be blamed not the manufacturer.â€ť
Ne-Yo says sometimes you have to stick to your guns.
â€śTell em to shut up! If youâ€™re name is on it, you have the right voice your opinion on everything going on.â€ť
Whether its deals with Malibu Red, his own music or acting roles he carefully chooses, Ne-Yo wants to be associated with quality and that association he feels is his greatest accomplishment.
â€śYou know when you say Ne-Yo, it means a quality lyric, it means an infectious melody and now we are getting to the point where it means a quality product. The product doesnâ€™t have to be music,” said Ne-Yo. “It could be a quality role in a film, a quality beverage, a quality hat, a quality suit. I feel like weâ€™ve made leaps and bounds in that direction and Iâ€™m very proud of that.”