Since donning gold chains and Kangol caps in the late 1980’s, LL Cool J has been something of a fashion icon. That’s why it’s no surprise that the rapper/actor/author recently launched a clothing line, the LL Cool J Collection. What fans might not expect is the brand’s retailer: Sears. But the two-time Grammy-award winner, who released his thirteenth studio album, “Exit 13,” this fall, tells ESSENCE.com the department store has always been close to his heart. “The LL Cool J Collection at Sears is important to me because of the emotional connection I have to the brand,” he says. “As a child, my grandfather used to take me to Sears nearly every weekend. I wanted to make this line accessible to people, like my family, who appreciate style and quality at affordable prices.” Parents and children alike can enjoy the brand, which debuted a junior’s, children and men’s lines in 450 Sears and online at www.sears.com.