Getting its start in the summer of 2020, cult label K.ngsley was partly born of activism amidst a global pandemic.
The Black-owned brand is led by designer Kingsley Gbadegesin, a first-generation Nigerian-American, and aims to reclaim and redefine the Black, queer, femme body and to create the tangible, direct support communities need today.
Portions of the brand’s sales proceeds are donated to charities and organizations that help sustain Black, queer and trans bodies, including sponsoring Ballroom categories — specifically femme queens and female figure categories, as these are the most marginalized in the community. Past donations have included organizations such as: The Audre Lorde Project, Princess Janae Place and OTA (Open To All weekly ball).
Elevating an everyday staple is not an easy feat, but just after two months into the fashion foray, Gbadegesin’s body revealing asymmetric tank tops took off with great success — and have been worn by the likes of Lil Nas X, Bretman Rock, Issa Rae and Zaya Wade, just to name a few.
And today marks a new chapter for K.ngsley, as the label launches its inaugural expansive collection, including ready-to-wear and accessories ranging from jewelry to footwear, named C1A1: Collection One Act One.
Key pieces from the new offering, which have been teased earlier this year for pre-orders, include: a sleeveless woven cotton top in eggshell with a raw edge fused collar and a mid-rise trouser with a straight-leg opening in cotton faille with seven-pocket styling, belt loops at waistband, zipper-fly and antique nickel hardware. Rounding out the lineup is an oversize cardigan in recycled wool with horn hardware.
The Clandestine boots are the brand’s first leap into the footwear arena and sure to be the next staple piece for the brand. With a rounded toe, the ankle-high matte leather boots are detailed with tonal wraparound lace-up closures at heel and an inner zip closure, which will be offered in a black colorway, composed of a triple stacked tonal leather heel with a tonal leather midsole and outsole — a twist on a faded combat boot.
With prices ranging from $190 for the tanks, $290 for the long-sleeved polos and $650 for the trousers, the C1A1 collection launches today on K.ngsley.com as well as select retail partners including Nordstrom, Moda Operandi and Fred Segal.