Rapper Jay-Z and his business partner Damon Dash were joined by a number of friends and colleagues Wednesday night in New York City to help officially launch their new Rocawear clothing line as part of Spring 2000 Collection being shown at the 7th On Sixth fashion exhibitions.

Timbaland, Usher, Ruff Ryder rapper Eve, Angie Martinez, and a number of industry folks turned up at a showing of the first wave of Rocawear's pieces. As Jay-Z told the MTV Radio Network, the night was the culmination of a process and that had been a long time coming (see "Jay-Z Unveils Roc Wear Fashion Line").

"It was something that I always wanted to do," Jay-Z explained. "I mean, I consider myself sort of a trendsetter as far as rap music goes. And I [endorsed] a lot of other people's clothes. So it was time for me to put my own little flair, my own definition, my own little stamp on the clothing myself, Rocawear." [RealAudio]

Rocawear's line of sweaters, T-shirts, hats, sweat suits, jeans, coats, leathers and belts will be available in department stores in the fall, and Jay says that they are trying to keep the items affordable.

Jay-Z is at work on the follow-up to his multi-platinum "Vol. 2... Hard Knock Life" and has already collaborated on several tracks with Timbaland, Memphis Bleek, and Beanie Segal.