Karl Kani: There’s No Loyalty in Fashion, Bootleggers, Brand Decline in 2000’s
Designer Karl Kani has made a name for himself when he started his clothing line which was a cross between Hip-Hop and modern day fashion. Once he was on top, the designer says he had major bootlegging issues which caused him to alter his logo and forcing him to find people making knockoffs. He tells DJ Vlad, that he and a close friend, who was able to confiscate the products and make arrests, agreed to find Asian distributors selling his brand. “We had a mission to search all theses Asian factories that were doing it and figure out what they were doing.” He explained, “They were bringing the clothing from China with no label on it, attaching the metal plate and the labels here in the US so the clothing could pass customs…that’s why we couldn’t catch them.”
Once Kani figured out how his clothing brand was being smuggled in the US, he says the damage had already been done and other clothing lines such as Roc-A-Fella, Enyce, Phat Farm, etc, were on the rise and even seeking out some of his employees. “We had a lot of employees defect from the company and going to these peoples’ companies. One in particular went to my competitors and took all my sales people with them and I ended up with no sales people and having to hire my security to be sales reps.”
Watch the full interview above.