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Urban clothing legend Karl Kani gives a rare interview where he breaks down the events that saw his clothing empire take a hit in the 2000s.

It’s not often that we get to hear Karl Kani tell his story but he sat down with DJ Vlad recently and revealed some of the events that saw him go from the king of urban fashion to becoming line that’s looking to make a comeback in the “cool” market.

In the talk Kani talks about having to find and bust the bootleggers who copied his fashions and sold them at unsuspecting retailers and flea markets.

He says:

We had a mission to search all these Asian factories out here that was doing it and figure out what they were doing. We figured out what they were doing. They were bringing in the clothing from China with no label in it, attaching the metal plates and labels here in the U.S. so the clothing could pass through customs. That’s why we couldn’t catch them.

Kani says that he was able to slow the bootlegging down after a while, but the damage had already been done.

He also talked about how the emergence of brands like Phat Farm, FUBU, Mecca, Enyce, Rocawear and others all played a part in his company slowing down. He claims that many of those companies took his marketing and salespeople and copied his blueprint.

Kani never goes as far as to complain about anything though, instead he talks about how he decided to take his operation international and how his brand is still one of the only relevant urban brands in the entire world.

Check out the interview below.

Photo: Screenshot