Karl Kani has truly gone from rags to riches. Known as the God Father of Urbanwear, he now finds himself looking over the billion dollar industry that he inspired. He is a visionary of many firsts…the first to develop the baggy jean concept, the first urban fashion company to employ an all-black sales force, and the first designer to host a fashion show at the White House during President Bill Clinton's term.
Growing up in Brooklyn, Karl's style was inspired by Hip-Hop and street culture; apparel in this aesthetic was nowhere to be found. Without adequate clothing options, 16-year old Carl Williams decided to make his own clothes. Friends and strangers took notice of his unique threads, and Williams soon began taking orders. He yearned to take this hobby to the next level and would ask himself the question, “Can I do it?” With more and more demand from the public for his wares, he gained the confidence to move forward. He eventually answered that incessant question, “Yes I can,” and committed himself to the challenge by legally changing his name to Karl Kani. In 1989, under his new moniker, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue this passion more seriously.
Today the Karl Kani brand has spread internationally throughout 25 countries in Europe and with 13 flagship stores in Japan alone, including one in Harajuku. Unlike many other high-end brands, Karl Kani has stayed true to his label. His passion for quality, design and craftsmanship has meant that Kani always honors the brand's roots and continues to produce many garments in the US.