In one way, Marc Ecko's a role model: He started with style and a dream and made it to the top of pop fashion. In a more accurate way, Marc Ecko is a walking "What Not to Do" guide.

The NYP reports today that Ecko's finally lost control of his own brand. He was forced to sell off a controlling stake in Ecko, middle America's most familiar hip-pop fashion line in order to raise cash to pay off creditors. It'll help the feeble brand hobble on, but it won't be his.

This really makes his decision to build himself a 280,000 square foot office with an in-house basketball court and spend 750k on a souvenir baseball and live in a huge Italian villa-style Jersey mansion appear a bit financially imprudent. But none of that was as bad as his decision to take what was once an actual cool, credible hip hop clothing brand (I remember when it was "ECHO" with an "H," yo), and turn it into something that took up entire Kids' sections in middle American malls.

Now you know, Marc: That's impossible. And you lost all your money doing it. If Marc Ecko can teach us anything, it is "Don't be wack on purpose." Also, "Putting out more varieties of something wack just leaves you with a multitude of wack things."

We'll think of some more.