LL Cool J is the latest
rapper to enter the fashion realm. The Queens-bred MC premiered his new Todd Smith
men’s and women’s clothing lines earlier this week at the Carlton Hotel during
New York’s Fashion Week.
For his men’s
collection, LL Cool J (whose real name is James Todd Smith) enlisted Jeremy
Brandrick of Dolce & Gabbana, while Matthew Priestly, formerly of Marni,
will serve as head designer for the women’s collection.
that the new lines represent a departure from the traditional track suits and
baggy jeans typically found in urban fashion.
LL Cool J said
he chose a more elegant look that incorporates luxury fabrics and classically
like a person to look rich, to look successful but not be overly ornate,"
the 38-year-old lyricist told MSNBC.com. "I want to leave room for the
everyday guy to upgrade."
Future plans call
for the lines to be developed into luxury brands like Zegna, an Italian couture
line for men, or Chloé, a French label for women, previously led by Karl
Lagerfeld and Martine Sitbon.
While LL Cool
J admits that his new line is "a long way" from rapping, he also made
a point to distinguish his musical persona from his new business venture.