Ashanti is giving us some major early-2000s fashion vibes while out in Florida Keys. The artist was in Florida on June 11 for a photo shoot campaign for her upcoming PrettyLittleThing x Ashanti collection. The outfits that were included in the shoot made it look like the new summer collab is going to be bold, neon, and full of shimmer, and people are ready for it.
The PrettyLittleThing x Ashanti collection drops July 1, but there is very little information on the collab so far. The swimwear that Ashanti was caught by paparazzi in while she posed on the beach hinted that it will be anything but basic. For example, the standout piece was a ruffled pair of metallic chaps with a matching snakeskin bikini. It's these kind of iridescent, shimmering looks that makes you think back to the 2004 R&B music video outfits of the early Noughties. These early-2000s outfits revolved around pleather capri pants, cutout jumpsuits with key-ring accents, and bandana halter tops — and Ashanti's looks have similarities with all of those iconic looks.
While there are some Y2K vibes to the pieces, Ashanti says that travel originally inspired the designs of the collection. "From a design aspect, a lot of the inspiration was derived from vacationing in the tropics," Ashanti tells Bustle. The artist pulled a lot of her inspiration from the Amazon rainforest in particular.
"The Amazon women being bold and exotic, being fearless and standing out among the crowd. My sister and I travel together a lot, so we have been talking about this pool and beach-side over virgin Piña Coladas on different islands," Ashanti shares.
While the collab is a swimsuit collection, it looks like there will also be an assortment of cover-ups and statement pants. These pieces not only will make you standout on the beach, but you will be the most fashion-froward barefoot person in the beach bar, too.
In the photos leaked from the photo shoot, you can see a sneak peek of the items in the collection. The "Early In The Morning" singer was seen modeling a bondage-inspired neon green bikini, which then can be paired with a matching neon mesh cover-up maxi dress. You can easily take this beach-y look onto the dance-floor during your seaside vacation.
Umar Kamani, the founder of PrettyLittleThing, also shared a peek of the upcoming swim collection. In his posted Instagram photo, Ashanti is decked out in a neon snakeskin outfit, and sitting on the hood of a neon snakeskin Jeep. She is wearing a sports bra-like bikini top, along with matching sheer snakeskin beach pants that look to be chaps. (Just throwing it out there, but Ashanti also wore sheer pants in her 2001 single "What's Luv?") The bottoms are cinched with a Southwestern belt, and she's wearing a cowboy hat with black and neon green stripes.
When Ashanti designed this collection, she said she definitely had locations in mind. "I thought of girls trips! Women like to vacation together so I wanted to provide different prints in different patterns so there is a variety," Ashanti says. "I also felt it was important to have swimsuits paired with looks you can wear out on the street, for a night out on the town during vacation." Interchangeable pieces were the goal.
You can easily imagine wearing the sheer pants to a bar in Miami beach, or wearing the cut-out shrug and bikini top to a rooftop pool party at night.
The chaps definitely help create wearable going-out outfits, and according to Ashanti, it was her sister who originally came up with the idea. "To be honest it was my sister Shia’s idea; she’s super creative with designing," Ashanti says. But the chaps were included because the singer felt they made a statement. "They are perfect for a poppin pool party! Every girl loves a quick photo shoot opp, and with the interchangeable pieces you could get two to three looks in one!"
If you want to pack statement-making vacation outfits into your suitcase this summer, mark your calendars for July 1 and shop Ashanti's girl weekend vision.