NIJA BATTLE, DESIGNER FOR HIP-HOP
NEW YORK — Funeral services for celebrity fur designer Nija Battle, who died last Thursday of an aneurysm, have been set for Friday as news of her death sent waves of sadness and shock throughout the entertainment world.
“It’s been traumatic for everybody she’s been in contact with,” said hip-hop mogul Sean (Puffy) Combs, who owns at least 20 of Battle’s designs and met her more than a decade ago.
“The fur thing is cool but I care more about her as a person,” he continued. “I remember how full of life she was and her positive energy. It’s so devastating that such a beautiful person is not here.”
Battle died on July 20 in Montreal while on a business trip. She was 37.
Battle, who designed under the Furs by Nija name, quickly garnered a celebrity clientele that also included entertainers like Mary J. Blige, Whitney Houston and Lil’ Kim. She typically worked outside of the New York wholesale fur industry, preferring to custom make pieces for each of her clients, who loyally wore them to fashion shows and events.
Blige and Lil’ Kim were spotted at Marc Bouwer’s fall show in February wearing a pair of her designs. Services will be held at 2 p.m. at the Evening Star Baptist Church at 265 Gates Ave., Brooklyn, said her sister, Saddiya Battle.