Karl Kani was the first black man to launch a Hip Hop Fashion line and became one of the 100 richest African-Americans in 1996 according to People Magazine.
Carl Williams a.k.a Karl Kani is the founder and CEO of the Hip Hop fashion brand Karl Kani. Kani launched his line in 1989 as a fashion forward and Hip Hop influenced clothing line.
He created the baggy pants which inspired and led others to follow his footsteps. Kani paved the way for many black designers earning the title as the “Godfather of Urban Fashion”.
Kani’s stylistic innovations were successful. He modified the baggy pants that became the basis of street fashion. According to Kani black people never liked tight fitting jeans. They would always buy a bigger size but then the waist would be too big, therefore Kani decided to increase the pant size.
Kani was the first designer to to mix hip hop with fashion and create a look like no other. He spotted an area in the market that was always ignored. He stepped in and paved the way for other Hip Hop Fashion brands. Being the first African-American man to launch a Hip Hop Fashion brand, Karl inspired many others to follow in his footsteps. His many achievements earned him the title of the “Originator”.
Kani had received acclaimed success from Black Enterprise Magazine naming his Corporation the most successful African American owned firms worldwide in 1996. In 2002 Kani was honored with an ‘Urban Fashion Pioneer Award’ for his lifetime achievements during the Urban Fashion Awards.
Karl Kani set the tone for urban fashion throughout the early 1990s, especially in the music industry. Wearing Kani clothing was not just a symbol of success, it was a fashion statement. Karl Kani became a well known brand and many known Hip Hop and R&B artists like Tupac, Aaliyah, Baby, Heavy D, Kelly Clarkson, Lil’ Kim, N Sync, Nas, Dr. Dre, Ice T, P Diddy, Kool G Rap, Ed Lover among many others have worn Karl Kani clothing.
Winning awards like Company of the Year (Black Enterprise Magazine), the Urban Fashion Pioneer Award, being listed in the top 50 most influential people in fashion (Sportswear International) and the top 15 most definitive sportswear brands in the past 15 years (Vibe Magazine) and representing his collection at the White House, Kani reached goals beyond his wildest dreams.
“Can I do it?”, remained unanswered. He kept asking himself: “Can I do it? Can I build a fashion empire? Can I become the ‘Ralph Lauren of the streets’?” Karl didn’t have the answer for all these questions but it did provide the basis for his new name, Kani, a variation on “Can I?”. With a stylish “K” replacing the “C” in his first name, he ventured his own optimistic reply, Karl Kani.
For more info on Karl Kani VISIT