Mastering A Lifestyle

Percy Miller, aka actor/rap star Master P, is expanding his apparel empire with a women’s line called Passion by P. Miller, and a kids’ line, Shorties.

NEW YORK — Master P is expanding his apparel domain.

This story first appeared in the May 22, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The multitalented rap star and actor, who also has done some producing, writing and basketball playing, is entering the women’s apparel field for fall with Passion by P. Miller, while launching a children’s wear line called Shorties. Master P, whose real name is Percy Miller, launched his men’s line, P. Miller, last fall.

“The girls wanted the clothes and I wanted to do a complete collection,” Miller said. “They were wearing the men’s stuff so we decided to launch juniors and kids’ to complete the P. Miller lifestyle.”

The denim-heavy juniors line features jeans in an array of washes, sold with logo rhinestone belts; logo T-shirts with sayings like “Ghetto Cinderella,” taken from one of Miller’s songs; velour and terry hoodies, pants and shorts, and mesh tops and jackets. Miller said he wanted to make the juniors line, which wholesales between $8 and $19, more affordable than its competitors.

“This is fashion,” he said. “The only difference is that it is fashion taken to the next level where people can afford it.”

He credits his son, up-and-coming rapper Lil’ Romeo, with the creation of the children’s line.

“The kids’ line is just as fashionable, but made a little less sexy for a tween,” said Evelyn Mirzaie, designer of the two new lines. “The direction of both lines comes from ready-to-wear.”

She said the first line is influenced by Asian-inspired fashions and military-influenced cargo pants made in a parachute fabric, as well as denim. She said the color plays a key role in both lines, so bright orange, red, pink and purple are evident on many pieces.

“For the first season, we have a lot of logo pieces,” she explained. “But that was done on purpose to get the name out there. We are shipping a line every two months so we can minimize the logo pretty quickly.”

For holiday, Mirzaie said the line will consist of sexy sheer mesh tops; motocross-inspired jackets and pants, and velour hoodie sets in colors like ivory and gold.

Licensed to Swat Fame, a 25-year-old company that also produces the LEI children’s line and Speechless, a children’s and juniors sportswear line. Mitchell Quaranta, president of Swat Fame, said he expects the first-year volume to reach between $12 million and $15 million for each line.

A New Orleans native, Miller is the founder and chief executive officer of No Limit Records (a division of Universal Records), No Limit Films and No Limit Clothing. In September 1999, he was listed on Fortune magazine’s “America’s 40 Richest Under 40” at number 28, said to be worth $361 million. He made the list again last year at number 11.

A skilled hoopster, Miller signed a contract to play with the NBA’s Toronto Raptors that same month. While he wasn’t on the team for long, he continued to play in the Continental Basketball Association.

He also has his hands in charity work, starting the Los Angeles-based Master P Foundation, which has helped more than 7,000 inner-city youths find jobs. Next up, Miller stars in “Hollywood Homicide,” set for a June 13 release and also stars Harrison Ford and Josh Hartnett.