Rapper Drake pictured with Culture Kings founders Tah-nee and Simon Beard in 2017
Culture Kings founders Simon and Tahnee Beard stuffed about $240,000 cash into a duffel bag to get Drake to visit their store during the rapper’s tour, only to be told the superstar would not pose for photos.
Mr Beard said he snapped pictures with Drake despite the edict from his entourage, with images and video from the appearance shared online in a major marketing coup for the streetwear brand.
The Beards started out in 2008 selling clothing imported from the US from a stall in the Carrara Markets, and grew their global fashion behemoth to an eye-popping valuation of $600m when it was snapped up in 2021 by American buyer, a.k.a. Brands.
The couple grew their brand from a market stall in Carrara to $600m valuation
Their riverfront mansion on the Gold Coast was named among Queensland’s 50 best homes
With a personal combined net worth pegged at $626m, the couple spent up big in luxury real estate, splashing $15.25m on a glamorous four-level penthouse in Surfers Paradise, and moving ahead with extravagant plans to upgrade the site of their riverfront mega-mansion on Isle of Capri.
Speaking at a One Life Club event on the Gold Coast, Mr Beard revealed he paid Canadian artist Drake to visit Culture Kings Pacific Fair store while in Australia for his Boy Meets World tour in 2017.
Mr Beard said he initially offered Drake’s barber $1000 a day to provide haircuts for customers at Culture Kings’ instore barbershop.
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“I had to weasel my way through his 50-person entourage,” he said.
“I was trying to get a connection with Drake to try and get him to come in the store and I kept getting to dead ends.”
Mr Beard was “just about to give up” when the barber called him at 10am on a Saturday and said Drake would visit for a fee of USD120,000, which factoring in the exchange rate equalled about AUD160,000.
“Then I’m like, ‘wait a minute, it’s a Saturday. How am I supposed to get USD120,000 on the Gold Coast?
“But, f***, he’s just so good. He’s like the icon.
“And then Tah-nee and I went on a race to find $120,000,” he said.
Drake browsing the range at Culture Kings Pacific Fair store
The couple “cleaned out every money exchange from Coolangatta to Brisbane”, then bundled the cash into a Culture Kings-branded duffel bag which they handed to Drake as he entered the store through the back door.
“I gave him the duffel bag, he was like, ‘yeah, cheers, thanks’.
“He just gives it to his boys. And it’s like through the entourage, it’s gone.”
Mr Beard was then told Drake “just wants to have a shop around” – no photos or video.
But he pushed through regardless, complementing the rapper on his show and suggesting collaborative marketing techniques to build rapport.
Drake then agreed to be in photos and videos Culture Kings used to promote the brand.
“That one move, I don’t want to quote how much it made me … but it was a lot more than the $120,000,” Mr Beard said.
The Beards paid $15.25m for this Surfers Paradise penthouse in 2021
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