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9 Story and Karma’s World Entertainment Tap Students from The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) to Design Fashion-Forward Streetwear Collection Inspired by Karma’s World

By February 16, 2022 No Comments

Karma’s World has been nominated for three NAACP awards and a second season has been confirmed with new episodes coming to Netflix March 10, 2022

9 Story Media Group, industry-leading 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, are pleased to announce a first-of-its kind partnership with the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Design and Technology Lab (FIT DTech). Inspired by the hit animated Netflix series Karma’s World – for which fashion is central to the brand DNA – FIT students 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 student designers selected for the project demonstrated distinctive points of view and the ability to capture, through fashion, the spirit of courageous and expressive young girls like Karma who dare to dream big. The design team included both 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.  The FIT DTech Lab, a key component of the college’s Innovation Center, provided a high-impact learning environment for the team as they leveraged the creative ideas and fresh perspectives of talented students and faculty.  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 an advisor to the students and series fashion consultant.

This unique partnership between industry and FIT, a college of the State University of New York (SUNY), embodies a shared commitment to social equity within the creative industries for the Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) community, which was also the impetus for the recent launch of the Social Justice Center at FIT, for which Daniel is an advisory council member.

Launched on Netflix last fall, Karma’s World is based on a concept created by multi-award-winning American rapper, actor, producer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges (Fast and Furious Franchise, Fear FactorCrash), and is a coming-of-age story about Karma Grant, an 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. The series focuses on themes of self-expression, identity, leadership, creativity, and the importance of community. Karma’s World has been nominated for three NAACP awards and a second season has been confirmed with new episodes coming to Netflix March 10, 2022.

Karma’s World boasts a rapidly expanding consumer products program with 35 licensees secured to date, including global partnerships with Mattel, Scholastic, and Universal Music. North American licenses span a variety of categories, including apparel, accessories, crafts and activity, electronics, holiday, and footwear, and will see products begin launching in 2022 and beyond. Several of the FIT student designs have been incorporated into product categories set to launch later this year.

“This first-of-its-kind partnership with FIT has truly elevated the Karma’s World brand offering,” said Kyra Halperin, Co-VP 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.”

“Experiential learning and innovative partnerships are pillars of the FIT mission — and nothing illustrates that better than our partnership with 9 Story Media,” said FIT president Dr. Joyce F. Brown. “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.  I am proud of all our students accomplished and proud to partner with such a visionary organization.”

About 9 Story Media Group

9 Story Media Group is a leading creator, producer, and distributor of kids and family-focused intellectual property. Its award-winning animation studio, Brown Bag Films, is recognized around the world for best-in-class brands such as Doc McStuffins, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Octonauts, Wild Kratts, Blue’s Clues and You and Karma’s World. The company’s international distribution arm, 9 Story Distribution International based in Dublin, represents 4,400 half-hours of animated and live-action programming, seen on some of the most respected international channels and platforms. Its in-house consumer products division, 9 Story Brands, builds international entertainment brands for kids, with expertise across creative, brand marketing, and licensing. 9 Story’s Creative Affairs Group creates, develops and produces award-winning branded properties using groundbreaking formative research. With facilities in Toronto, Dublin, New York and Bali, 9 Story Media Group employs 1000 creative and corporate staff. www.9story.com

About Chris Bridges

Chris Bridges, sometimes professionally known as “Ludacris” is a successful actor, producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist as well as one of pop music’s most successful recording artists. Chris currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. His love for his community led him to found The Ludacris Foundation (TLF), in 2001. This nonprofit organization seeks to inspire youth through education and memorable experiences and to uplift families and communities, while fostering economic development. For more information on TLF check out theludacrisfoundation.org.

About Karma’s World Entertainment

Karma’s World Entertainment, founded by Chris Bridges, is an entertainment media company dedicated to helping kids develop self-esteem, healthy living, creativity and leadership skills through fun music and problem-solving educational programs, with an appreciation for diversity.

About FIT

A part of the State University of New York, FIT has been a leader in career education in art, design, business, and technology throughout its history. Providing almost 9,000 students with an uncommon blend of hands-on, practical experience, theory, and a firm grounding in the liberal arts, the college offers a wide range of affordable programs that foster innovation and collaboration. Its distinctive curriculum is geared to today’s rapidly growing creative economy, including fields such as computer animation, toy design, production management, film and media, and cosmetics and fragrance marketing. Internationally renowned, FIT draws on its New York City location to provide a vibrant, creative community in which to learn. The college offers nearly 50 majors and grants AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees, preparing students for professional success and leadership in the new creative economy. Among notable alumni in fashion are Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Norma Kamali, Reem Acra, Brian Atwood, Stephen Burrows, Dennis Basso, Francisco Costa, Nanette Lepore, Bibhu Mohapatra, Ralph Rucci, John Bartlett, Peter Do, and Michelle Smith. Other prominent graduates include Leslie Blodgett, creator of bareMinerals; international restaurant designer Tony Chi; and Nina Garcia, editor in chief of Elle.

About the FIT DTech Lab

The FIT DTech Lab is the college’s bridge between academia and industry.  It is organized around a mission to engage faculty and students as the solve industry problems with design and technology. Since 2017 they have undertaken more that 50 industry sponsored projects that have engaged 65 faculty members and over 200 students. The Lab is committed to lead the creative industries worldwide with socially conscious solutions, that leverage innovation and entrepreneurial drive to have a positive impact on the world.