Iconic Hip-Hop fashion designer Karl Kani has revived one of his most memorable creations for a limited time: the leather “Kani Varsity” jacket. On Thursday (June 2), Kani released the nostalgic leather patch item in an ode to the home borough of its founder, Carl Williams.
“This is a declaration of love to Brooklyn, for all those kids on the street hustling,” he told Hypebeast. “For the ‘Kings and Queens’ who built the empire of hip-hop representing the whole culture—a statement—welcome to the club.”
The legendary patched jacket is a symbolic Kani piece that has now been recycled into the new age of street fashion. From sizes small to XL, the revived item features premium black and red leather contrasted with a white collar and cuffs. Distinctive Karl Kani logos are sewn throughout the statement piece, as the back of the jacket displays a black panther basketball logo labeled, “J23 Sports.”
100 limited-edition jackets are now available for purchase at $1500 a pop on the brand’s official website and in Europe via the Zalando Plus app.
Karl Kani started the idiosyncratic brand back in 1989 as a way to marry his passions for the culture of Hip-Hop and fashion. Although Williams initially did not have a background in fashion design, he gained knowledge as an apprentice for his father’s company. During his time there, he bought raw fabrics and would create one-of-one ensembles that he hadn’t seen before.
Eventually, Williams move to Los Angeles to take his fashion career to the next level. Playfully, the brand name came about when Williams exchanged the first letter in his first name with a “K.” He then derived the word Kani from the self-doubt he experienced when it came to taking chances. He would ask himself, “Can I?” Thus, Karl Kani was born.
Scroll through photos of the timeless jacket below.