I would describe my style as pretty classic, but lately, I'm obsessed with juxtaposing traditional preppy looks with streetwear influences. I mean seriously, you don't have to put yourself in one box. That's why I'm so impressed with PrettyLittleThing x Karl Kani's newest collaboration. Get ready to party like it's 1998!
There were rumblings that PrettyLittleThing was set to launch its first brand collaboration, but I couldn't have been more excited to see the powerhouse collaborate with Karl Kani. Karl Kani is a '90s label (designed by Karl Kani) that was made famous by hip-hop greats like Tupac, Nas, Biggie, and Diddy. PLT announced in early May that not only would they be launching a 45 piece collection that would stay true to Kani's streetwear roots, but that Teyana Taylor would be the face of the collection as well.
I knew PLT fans would be in for a treat because Kani is known to produce clothes with logos, his signature multi stripes designs, and oversized t-shirt dresses. However, I didn't realize that I would want to buy the whole line. I need every single piece! Although PLT stayed true to Kani's streetwear classics, it was the right call to give the line a modern reboot. And highlighting Taylor as the face is also so major, because Taylor truly embodies her Harlem roots so well.
Whereas some '90s collections can come off a bit gimmicky, or look like you're going to a theme party, PLT was able to fuse two eras for a well-blended line. The collection stays true to PLT's affordable roots, with pieces ranging from $20-$88, and is packed with sporty separates, signature baseball caps, basketball jersey inspired tank dresses, and baggy t-shirt dresses.
This type of collaboration is new for PrettyLittleThing. The brand is known to pair with celebrities, but according to founder and CEO Umar Kamani's Instagram post, he wanted to switch things up a bit.
We're a very celebrity-focused brand, but you see what Virgil [Abloh] is doing with Off-White; you see Vetements; and I was very inspired by the Louis Vuitton and Supreme collaboration, as well. The celebrity thing is amazing for us but I just wanted to try something else and it's been really exciting.
Besides how sick the clothes are, I love that Kumani and PLT did a comprehensive job at paying homage to not only Kani, but hip-hop, urban wear, and streetwear as a whole. Right now, there's this debate about gentrification vs. appreciation, and the brand did a fantastic job at paying homage while still staying true to PLT's roots.
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. For me that's what makes this successful. Not selling a million dresses. It's making two worlds merge together.
If you're unfamiliar with Kani's work and you're a streetwear/urban wear fan, I highly recommend you take a quick Google. Kani is known as one of the founding fathers (or even the Godfather) of modern-day streetwear. He's mega famous amongst the hip-hop crowd, he was the first to develop the baggy jean concept, and his company was the first urban fashion company to employ an all-black sales force. Add that to being the first designer to host a fashion show at the White House (during President Bill Clinton's term), and you can see the impact of his legacy. His fashions are spotted on Missy Elliot, Teyana Taylor, Karruche Tran, and Ariana Grande, so you know he's dressing the A-list.
Below, my favorite pieces from the collection.
The "That Girl Is Poison" Bodycon Skirt
I love the multicolor look of this skirt. It reminds me of the skirts women wore at Miami Beach during the '90s.
The "I Just Threw This On" Separates
Matching separates are trendy right now, but you can also rock the bralette interchangeably with other pieces in your closet.
The Instagram Baddie Bodysuit
Everyone needs a bodysuit in their closet that makes them feel equally sexy and comfy.
The Around The Way Girl Baseball Dress
As a New Yorker, I can proudly say this jersey dress is so New York. I can envision someone rocking this look at the Dyckman Basketball Tournament or to a concert this summer.