Inspired by the animated Netflix series “Karma’s World,” FIT students have designed a 50-piece fashion-forward children’s collection for licensing partners to incorporate across a range of consumer categories, with the first product set to launch later this year.
Designs include jumpsuits, jackets, sweatsuits, dresses, swimsuits and footwear.
The project came together via 9 Story Media Group creator, producer and distributor of award-winning animated and live-action content for young audiences, and Karma’s World Entertainment, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges’ entertainment media company, which forged a partnership with Fashion Institute of Technology’s Design and Technology Lab.
The design team included current students and 2021 graduates from FIT’s Fashion Design program: Juliana Bui, Brianna Castillo, Jacob Desvarieux, Desiree DiCarlo, Hawwaa Ibrahim, Carly McBride, Jake Valliere and Jada Wilkerson.
For this project, FIT’s footwear and accessories design chair Sarah Mullins, FIT’s fashion design assistant professor Lauren Zodel and FIT adjunct instructor Gregg Woodcock teamed up with FIT graduate Brandice Daniel, founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row, an organization that supports emerging talent and provides a platform for designers of color, as advisers to the students and series fashion consultant.
Launched on Netflix last fall, “Karma’s World,” is based on a concept created by Bridges, the rapper, actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist. It’s a coming-of-age story about Karma Grant, a 10-year-old aspiring musical artist and rapper with big talent and an even bigger heart. Every episode is infused with hip-hop music, streetwear fashion and original choreography.
“Karma’s World” has 35 licensees, including global partnerships with Mattel, Scholastic and Universal Music. North American licenses span categories such as apparel, accessories, crafts and activity, electronics, holiday and footwear, and products will start launching this year at major retailers. Several of the FIT student designs have been incorporated into product categories set to launch later this year.
“The first-of-its kind partnership with FIT has fully elevated the Karma’s World brand offering,” said Kyra Halperin, co-vice president, consumer products for 9 Story. “The students’ talent, passion and vision enabled them to imagine what else Karma might have in her closet, resulting in a highly creative collection that captures Karma’s unique style. FIT’s mission to foster and celebrate youth, creativity and individuality aligns perfectly with what ‘Karma’s World’ stands for and 9 Story is thrilled to partner with an organization with the same commitment to inclusivity and representation.”
Joyce Brown, president of FIT, added, “Experiential learning and innovative partnerships are pillars of the FIT mission — and nothing illustrates that better than our partnership with 9 Story Media. Our students were offered an extraordinary opportunity to apply their creative talent to a real-world project — one with demanding needs and deadlines — within the context of our own innovative DTech Lab. Karma’s World itself was an inspiration, radiating FIT’s own values of inclusivity and community.”
“Karma’s World” has been nominated for three NAACP awards and a second season has been confirmed with new episodes coming to Netflix on March 10.
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