If you—or your children—haven’t yet had an opportunity to tune in to Netflix’s Karma’s
World, please do! I think this hit animated series, based on a concept by rapper, actor, producer and entrepreneur Chris “Ludicris” Bridges, will delight you—and certainly inspire any children in your world.
This coming-of-age series features 10-year-old Karma Grant, an aspiring rap artist with a big talent and even bigger heart. Every episode—infused with hip-hop music and streetwear fashion—carries a life lesson, one which it wears lightly. The series focuses on themes of identity, leadership, creativity, and the importance of family and community. Karma’s World has been nominated for three NAACP awards, and a second season is in progress.
I tell you this not only because I have so enjoyed Karma’s World myself, but also because FIT has had its own role to play in its continuing success. The series is a collaboration between Karma’s World Entertainment, Bridges’ entertainment media company, and 9 Story Media Group, an industry- leading producer, creator and distributor of material for young audiences. At this point, the series has 35 licensees, including partnerships with Mattel, Scholastic and Universal Music—and through our innovative FIT DTech Lab has forged a partnership with FIT.
The upshot is that a team of FIT fashion design students created a 50-piece fashion forward children’s collection for licensing partners, with the first products to launch later this year. Designs included jumpsuits, jackets, sweatsuits, dresses, swimsuits and footwear—fashion that our students imagined a smart, creative child like Karma might have in her closet. Our design team included both current students and 2021 graduates of our fashion design program: Juliana Bui, Brianna Castillo, Jacob Desvarieux, Desiree DiCarlo, Hawwaa Ibrahim, Carly McBride, Jake Valliere and Jada Wilkerson.
As always, our FIT DTech Lab, a key component of the college’s Innovation Center, provided a high-impact learning environment for the designers as they have just produced in the real world a product line that speaks directly to young people devoted to the fictional Karma. I want to give credit as well to the FIT faculty who acted as guides for this project: FIT’s Footwear and Accessories Design Chair Sarah Mullins, and Fashion Design Professors Lauren Zodel and Greg Woodcock. Brandice Daniel, founder of Harlem’s Fashion Row and an FIT alum, served as the series fashion consultant.
Experiential learning and innovative partnerships are pillars of the FIT mission and nothing illustrates that better than our partnership with 9 Story Media. For our students, who always make me proud, Karma’s World was an inspiration: radiating FIT’s own values of inclusivity and community.