Dressed To Kill: Karrueche's Feb/March 2013 VIBE Shoot
February 14, 2013 - 5:40 pm
Dressed To Kill
As Chris Brown’s once muted arm candy grabs hold of his fashion pet project, the limelight will only shine brighter. Quiet as kept, Karrueche Tran stays camera ready.
By Adelle Platon | Photographs by Cliff Watts
Karrueche Tran is once again caught in an awkward moment. Rihanna’s “What’s My Name?” just blared through the speakers at Los Angeles’ Milk Studios, and everyone’s wondering how the 24-year-old sometimes model—famous for being Chris Brown’s on-and-off girlfriend post-Rih—will react. After months of seeing her ex-beau share squares on Instagram with pop’s unfiltered bad girl, Karrueche barely flinches. Later, now out of her photo-shoot-fresh high-waist shorts and tiny red bikini top, she comes clean about her thorny relationship status. “I feel like, more than anything, girls can relate to me, regardless of if what they have to say is negative or not,” she explains. “Because the situation is so messy.”
Despite being snared in a love triangle that rivals Brangelina’s, third-wheeling with music’s controversial lovers has afforded Karrueche an op to launch a clothing line, The Kill, with the man responsible for her fame. After meeting Chris through a styling gig two years ago—while he was still warring with the media over his 2009 assault on Rihanna—the ex–personal assistant kept her bond with R&B’s bad boy platonic. A crushing public breakup in October 2012 (during which Chris dropped an inebriated confessional admitting his love for both Rih and Kae) has made her the odd woman out, even as she and Breezy serve as strange bedfellows in a partnership that places much of the creative control in her well-manicured hands. For her part, Karrueche assures The Kill will satisfy demand once on racks. “Our clothes are all black and white. I don’t know any other line that’s doing that,” she notes.
Though pushed back from its 12/12/12 launch date, the line has snagged prime pixel-space on style blogs, thanks to Breezy, Christina Milian and Bun B sporting Kill headgear in public. The moniker for the unisex street-wear-meets-high-fashion threads is itself an attention-grabber. “When people first think of the name, they think violence, guns, blood and being very aggressive, but it’s not,” she says, citing La Roux’s hit “In for the Kill” as inspiration. “I liked it because the name stood out. I can’t say the clothes are for one type of person.” What about a person named Rihanna? She laughs nervously before unleashing an abrupt, “I don’t know.”
While her subliminal Twitter feuds with Rih soothe the drama-hungry, Karrueche has her own e-groupies (272,000-plus Twitter followers; more than 400,000 on Instagram) who both praise and bait her. “I never respond to the haters. There’s no point because at the end of the day, nobody knows me,” says the newfound Insta-fashionista. “It’s honestly weird, because I was brought into this whole ‘being known’ thing. I was never looking for fame. Seeing myself on blogs sometimes, it’s like, ‘Chris isn’t with me. Why are you following me?’”
Now accustomed to the flashes, Karrueche has upgraded her paparazzi’d garbs from dressing in mama’s tights as a tot to loose tees and Jordans as a lady. The upside of an impromptu entourage is that she’s always picture-perfect. As the Chrianna reality show plays out, her relations with Chris remain blurry at best (snapshots of her and the superstar linger on her Instagram). But she’s willingly hanging on by a thread. “He’ll always be in my life because we have a line together,” she states. The prospect of a three-way chat with Rih, that’s a little more unlikely. “It would take me to somewhere I wouldn’t want to go,” says Karrueche, still oddly cordial. “Whatever it is will never be understood, even from Chris and Rihanna.”
Keep one eye open for the launch of the The Kill and follow @thekillsociety.
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