Now that the summer fashions are rolling out, there is definitely an influx of gingham, cherry prints, frills, and lace accents, filling up every store window with feminine accents. But if you're not much of a chiffon-dress kind of person, then the new PrettyLittleThing x Karl Kani collab is going to be right up your alley.
For those not up with their streetstyle trivia, Karl Kani is a legendary '90s fashion designer, and founder of one of the very first hip hop fashion labels, Karl Kani. Known as the god father of urban wear, his designs were a regular staple in hip-hop greats' closets — from Tupac, to Biggie, to Diddy and Aaliyah — and the scrawled logo and color-blocked racer stripes became synonymous with '90s fashion.
Kani's company was a rags-to-riches kind of story everyone loves, where at 16, he loved rap and street culture but couldn't find an aesthetic that matched that look. So he started to create his own, and began selling his designs from the back of his trunk's car. This modest enterprise grew to be an internationally known label, where he is now known for creating major '90s trends like the baggy jean concept and using rappers as fashion influencers.
But now the label is amping itself up for a comeback, and while it's been making its way back into the public eye since 2016, this new fast-fashion collab is sure to connect with twenty-somethings on a non-designer budget.
This comeback is exciting because, as publications like Essence have pointed out, while '90s nostalgia has resurrected brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein, not many black-owned brands have found that same success, (other than FUBU.) This new collection brings the father of streetwear front row and center into the '90s-centric revival moment, right where he belongs.
The designer is teaming up with the UK brand PrettyLittleThing on a 45-piece capsule collection, and the founder and CEO, Umar Kamani, wanted this collab to happen for a very specific reason.
"I want Karl's fans and customers to understand PrettyLittleThing in a different way after this, and I want the PrettyLittleThing customer to understand and respect the heritage of Karl Kani," he shared. "For me that's what makes this successful. Not selling a million dresses. It's making two worlds merge together." Many of us wear streetwear, but do we know where it came from? This new collection is meant to make shoppers aware of the origins of their favorite looks.
As you can imagine, the collection is jam-packed with nostalgic silhouettes, prints, and designs. Featuring everything from crop tops, to bodysuits, to jersey-inspired dresses, to denim jackets, there is a lot to pick from, and celebs like Missy Elliott have already been spotted wearing them.
PrettyLittleThing asked artist Teyana Taylor to be the campaign model for the capsule, treating us to scenes like wearing color-blocked windbreakers on basketball courts, donning jersey-inspired dresses and white thigh high boots while sitting on the hood of a car, and standing in front of graffiti tagged wall while wearing crop top hoodies.
The collection launched on May 23, so you can already shop it. Check out some of their best picks below.
While this collection just launched, you need to hurry if you want to get a piece for yourself — it's selling out super fast! Relive the '90s and get a Karl Kuni piece for yourself — at the fraction of the cost.